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Edited by M McKee, J Healy. Open University Press, Buckingham, 2002. (Pp 288; £65.00 (hbk), £22.50 (pbk)). ISBN 0-335-20929-7 (hbk), 0-335-20928-9 (pbk)
The stated objectives of this anthology are to provide a basis for more effective health policy making and its focus is on hospitals. It reviews the evidence both from eastern and western Europe and combines policy experience with academic research.
The 15 chapters contained in the anthology have been structured in four parts, each of them devoted to a general topic, namely; the context of hospitals, external pressures upon hospitals, internal strategies for change, and conclusions. The first part of the book describes the hospitals different functions and trends in hospital activity throughout history. It also gives an overview of factors driving change in the hospital system. The second part pays attention to the interface between primary and secondary care and between hospital and post-hospital care. The research evidence on economies of scale is reviewed and prerequisites for high quality care identified. The evolving changes in hospital payment mechanisms in eastern Europe are described and analysis of the organisational structure of hospitals in transition economies are made.
The third part examines trends in employment in the hospital workforce and how management can encourage a culture that supports staff and patients. It also highlights some key drivers for change.
This book provides a useful guide for the policy maker. But also everyone else interested in healthcare systems and reforms will surely find this book very interesting and useful.
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