Elio Borgonovi

La spesa sanitaria: investimento per lo sviluppo o consumo

  • Abstract

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Keywords:

Escalating healthcare expenditure is considered one of the most critical issues in developed countries. Actual rates of increase of both private and public expenditure are evaluated too high because they are supposed to hamper economic growth. Public expenditure is seen as a cause of public deficit. Consequently, reducing its rate of increase is a priority in the agenda of "Welfare State" reforms. Private expenditure to buy health insurance coverage or to purchase health services is seen as a problem as it weakens economic competitiveness in the global market. Therefore, policy actions to increase efficiency and to contain costs in the private healthcare sector are welcomed by the business community. To a certain extent, this approach is misleading as it is based on the concept of health expenditure as "consumption of wealth". On the contrary, health care expenditure should be regarded as an "investment" because it maintains the "invisible asset" of new economies in the era of global competition: the health of human capital. The paper aims to support this new approach on how to analyse health care expenditure.

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