Title: Health, inequality and commercialisation

Authors: Julian Tudor Hart

Addresses: Clinical School, Swansea University, Gelli Deg, Penmaen, Swansea, SA3 2HH, Wales, UK

Abstract: This paper offers a critique of the increasing commercialisation of healthcare. It argues for a gift economy in which patients are respected for their knowledge and capacity to help control their own health outcomes as co-producers rather than consumers whose market wants need to be stimulated. It notes the perverse consequences for both patients and medical staff of treating healthcare as a traded commodity. The paper suggests that in the UK medical opinion is strongly in favour of socialised medicine but medical staff do not make their political voices heard loudly enough.

Keywords: inequality; health commodification; health markets; co-production; health wants; health needs; UK; United Kingdom; healthcare commercialisation; gift economy; socialised medicine.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2010.034877

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2010 Vol.4 No.2, pp.145 - 153

Available online: 26 Aug 2010 *

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