'Southern-style' National Health Services? Recent Reforms and Trends in Spain and Greece

'Southern-style' National Health Services? Recent Reforms and Trends in Spain and Greece
In Social Policy and Administration, N° 2, vol. 42, (April 2008).
Coleman, Anna; Guillén, Ana M.; Petmesidou, Maria. 2008. p p 106-124.
This article analyses recent changes in the Greek and Spanish national health services. The aim is to assess how the period of austerity and further recovery during the 1990s and early 2000s impacted on them in terms of equity and efficiency. This is of interest because of the closeness in time between the universalizing reform laws and the arrival of the conditions for economic convergence established in the Maastricht Treaty. The analysis is also attractive because it deals with the transformation of already mature health insurance systems into national health services, a transformation that is novel in European welfare history. The article addresses the questions of whether austerity has hindered full implementation of the reform laws enacted in the early to mid-1980s, examining reform trajectories and financing and expenditure trends. Furthermore, it considers the impact on access, understood in terms of population coverage, the array of services provided, waiting lists, and territorial inequalities. Finally, it discusses the introduction of new managerial formulas and attempts at enhancing efficiency. The concluding section states that divergent trajectories have occurred, thus rendering the definition of a 'Southern model of health care' difficult. It also provides explanations of the trajectories followed in both national cases and informs on prospects for the future.
English .
All fee charged.
Social security reform.
Greece, Spain.
social security financing, comparison, health insurance, medical care.
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