The importance of patient empowerment in health system reform

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    Health system reform is on the agenda in Australia, across Europe and North America and elsewhere. Reform is being driven by attempts to meet ever increasing health service demands in the face of cost containment pressures. There is little agreement concerning the preferred features of health funding models. A micro-economic framework is used to define universal performance characteristics for optimal health funding arrangements. Two principle requirements emerge. These are (1) demand side reform to empower consumers and (2) supply side reform, to promote opportunities and incentives for a responsive service system and competition amongst providers. A focus on supply side issues only, without recognition of the fundamental importance of consumer empowerment will fail to promote an efficient solution to the distribution of health resources. Mechanisms to promote active consumer involvement in health care decisions are identified as a central requirement in health system reform.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-44
    Number of pages14
    JournalHealth Policy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1998


    • Health system reform
    • Patient empowerment

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health Policy

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