This paper examines the general question of the public/private mix in hearth care, with special emphasis on its implications for human resources. After a brief conceptual exercise to clarify these terms, we place the problem of human resources in the context of the growing complexity of health systems. We next move to an analysis of potential policy alternatives. Unfortunately, a lot of the public/private debate has looked only at the pragmatic aspects of such alternatives. Each of them, however, reflects a specific set of values - an ideology - that must be made explicit. For this reason, we outline the value assumptions of the four major principles to allocate resources for health care: purchasing power, poverty, socially perceived priority, and citizenship. Finally, the last section discusses some of the policy options that health care systems face today, with respect to the combinations of public and private financing and delivery of services. The conclusion is that we need to move away from false dichotomies and dilemmas as we search for creative ways of combining the best of the state and the market in order to replace polarized with pluralistic systems. The paper is based on a fundamental premise: The way we deal with the question of the public/private mix will largely determine the shape of health care in the next century.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy