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Original scientific paper

Theory of Health Justice and Public-Health Ethics

Gordana Cerjan-Letica

Full text: croatian pdf 110 Kb

page 205-216

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The author attempts to answer the following question: can a health system, geared towards the fulfillment of the principle of equity in health, in the access to health care, and in utilization of health care services be at the same time both ethical and efficient. Some public health scientists, politicians and practitioners claim that health equity and ethics on the on hand and efficiency (cost containment, cost-effectiveness and profitability) on the other hand are simply irreconcilable principles. This belief is especially widespread among politicians from the countries in transition which are leaving the ideology and practice of a Communist health care system and trying to develop a hypothetical European model of health care. Based on the analysis of a number of the WHO documents and the arguments of leading public health experts, the author stresses that the abandonment of a Communist health care system should under no conditions lead to ignoring of the principles of equity and ethics in public health and health care policies. The author furthermore believes that the works of John Rawls, Amarty Sen and Margaret Whitehead represent a foundation for the new theory of health care justice. The countries trying to modify and “europeanise” their health care systems (like Croatia) have to devote equal attention in devising these new systems to the principles of equity and efficiency.



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