Economics in health care
KeywordsEconomics, health care
The development of medicine in the last three decades has brought not only new diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities, but also new thinking about health in its interdisciplinary understanding. It is also a period in which wide-ranging actions for public health were undertaken through decisions made by politicians, economists and health care representatives. Measures expressed mathematically are used in health measurements, especially those concerning the entire population. There are three groups of measures of the health condition of the population: positive, negative and the so-called synthetic measures of health condition which combine, apart from health measures, many other elements.
The aim of the work is to analyze the economics of health care.
Material and method
Review of the available literature on the subject.
A different approach related to the economic efficiency of access to public goods is the concept of investment in human capital. Grossman developed the theoretical foundations for such an understanding of the choices related to health and its protection in the 1970s. Grossman's theory is treated as a model of human capital. An important element of Grossman's model is the distinction between health treated as a product, i.e. a basic good, which is a source of utility for people, and medical care treated as a factor in the production of health. In Grossman's model, people both demand and produce health. Health is treated as a good produced by humans through various means, such as diet, healthy eating, a healthy lifestyle, and medical care. The efficiency of health production depends on the knowledge and education of the society. Medical care is only one input into health production. According to the presented model, each person at birth has a specific health resource that exhibits capital characteristics. This health is amortized with age, but it can also be increased (accumulated) by investing in it, e.g. by doing sports, eating healthy and also by protecting health. Grossman's model takes into account two important elements. First, health care is only one of the determinants of health. Second, people do not demand health care for its own sake: the utility of health consumption is derived not from health care itself, but from the health improvement it causes. In this perspective, health care is an economic good, it is human capital and if so, health can also be considered capital. They are often regarded as a fundamental good, being one of the real reasons for patients' expectations of healthcare, for which other, mostly tangible, products and services, such as healthcare, are simply methods of obtaining it.
The contemporary concept of health should be perceived on many levels, including not only biomedical and environmental determinants, but also social and professional functions performed by individuals. As a result of such perception, the value of human life should increase by expanding the meaning of health to include the concept of the ability to lead a meaningful, creative and satisfying life. There is an interrelated relationship between the development of the concept of health and the definition of public health and health policies. The evolution of the concept of health, its extension beyond purely biological-medical meaning, has led to the concept of public health and the involvement of governments in health policy. Financial expenses related to the implementation of state burdens in the implementation of health policy currently exceed the capabilities of many governments. "
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