Saskatoon, Canada, March 8, 2007-- That health spending is increasing faster than incomes in most developed countries, is no longer news. Concerns regarding how they fund health services with the health budget of the U.S for example projected to double in a decade, to $4.1 trillion, half paid by the federal government, however also continue to grow. This is more so, as many of these countries increasingly question the value derived from their soaring health bills. Is something missing somewhere is why we have what many would consider a healthcare crisis even in developed countries? Should we not zealously seek answers to this and other questions crucial to fixing our health systems to minimize if not avert the potential adverse consequences for not just us, but also our entire economy, more so in an increasingly competitive global marketplace?
Yet, how much of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), essentially a measure of it wealth, it could afford to spend on healthcare is an important consideration. With health care spending globally is in general increasing faster than overall economic growth, many countries spending more of their wealth on healthcare, it is also pertinent to query the sustainability of ever increasing health spending. The U.S for example spent 8.8% of its GDP on health in 1980, and by 2003, 15.2%, a nearly 7 percentage-point increase in the health share of GDP. In fact, its 2003 health spending per capita was about 90% more than many other developed countries. Should the U.S and indeed, other countries therefore, not be exploring ways to deliver accessible and qualitative healthcare delivery more efficiently and cost-effectively? What policy initiatives would such goals warrant and what are their potential ramifications for other sectors of the economy?
Furthermore, that we should couple practical measures with vision in solving the myriads of problems health systems face worldwide is not in question. Indeed, the former constitutes the general framework apposite to ensuring that the latter materializes. This e-book aims to achieve this objective in an effort to highlight the significant issues that contemporary health systems face relative to the potential for addressing them effectively, to preempt change to which they are subject, compounding the chaos that now tends to propel them along a moribund path. We would therefore in this e-book, embark on an exploration of the underpinnings of qualitative health services provision in an increasingly complex, and competitive milieu, internal and external to the processes whose eventual results could be portentous for all healthcare stakeholders, and for the economy, perhaps even dramatically.
This e-book would interest doctors and other healthcare professionals, and hospital staff and executives. It would also be useful to policymakers, health insurance executives, software vendors and other healthcare ICT firms, the public, health advocacy groups, the media, government agencies, health insurance companies, industry analysts and leaders, and other healthcare stakeholders.