Ethical and Economic Problems

Each country has historically formed and developed its own way of attracting economic resources to provide medical care, preserve and strengthen the health of the population. The quantity of resources allocated by society and the effectiveness of their use in the field of health care are determined by the complex system of economic, political, moral, ethical, and other relations that have formed in the country. The presence of an appropriate health care system is determined by many circumstances in one or another country. Nonetheless, with all the differences in the health systems of different states, the economic models expressing them can be designated depending on the role and functions of the state in these processes.

Currently, all existing health care systems are reduced to three main economic models. There are no generally accepted names for these models, but the descriptions of their basic parameters given by experts are the same in general. They are paid medicine based on market principles using private health insurance, public medicine with a budget financing system, and a healthcare system based on the principles of social insurance and market regulation with a multi-channel financing system.

Ethical Issues

Although the main goal of health care is precisely human health, an attempt to consider it as a commodity is very problematic. Above all, it is poorly measurable and difficult to evaluate in money. Nevertheless, if such an assessment of human health in monetary terms was found, then it would determine the price of human life. In fact, this price is implicitly present, for example, in calculations related to life safety in military medicine (when determining priorities in the provision of medical care). However, an explicit definition of the value of human health, and, consequently, of human life, contradicts traditions, and culture. Furthermore, given its obviously insufficient justification, it is seriously and fairly criticized.

Economic Difficulties

Due to intense competition in paid medicine, conditions for increasing quality are created, such as searching for new products and technologies, tough rejection of economically inefficient strategies and market participants. It determines the positive side of the market model of the healthcare system. However, on the contrary, the insufficient study of the specifics of the type of services under consideration (unlimited demand for it, vendor monopoly, etc.) causes certain negative phenomena:

  • excessive increase in the cost of medicine;
  • the impossibility of exercising state control and, therefore, difficulties in setting priorities between health care and other sectors of the economy;
  • prerequisites for unfair ways of competition;
  • excessive influence of advertising;
  • unequal access to medical care.

In the conditions of the market organization of the healthcare system, patients constantly have to solve a dilemma in which market it is better to invest their savings (financial or insurance). The choice is made between a profitable investment of money and the risk of getting sick and being unable to pay for medical care.


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