Researchers explore future healthcare funding models

04 August 2015

Researchers explore future healthcare funding models

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and the University of Liverpool have formed a research network to explore healthcare funding models as pressure on the NHS increases.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the research team will provide a multi-disciplinary forum for debating the issues of healthcare funding, prioritisation and commissioning globally and in the ‘new NHS’.

There has been significant debate over healthcare funding in the UK and the future of the NHS. The UK Government said the Health and Social Care Act 2012 was passed to “safeguard the future” of the NHS by putting clinicians at the centre of commissioning and giving a new focus to public health. The Act was arguably the greatest change in healthcare funding and organisation since the beginning of the NHS over 60 years ago, with a move towards more market mechanisms and the greater use of private and third sector organisations to deliver healthcare previously provided by the NHS.

These reforms will have a significant impact on how health and social care is delivered for many people.

The new research network will explore this debate by bringing together philosophy and healthcare economics. The network will explore the fundamental principles behind recent legislation in the UK on health and social care. The team will also consider how the commissioning of services should be carried out in this new healthcare landscape ethically within the given financial and policy constraints.

The medicine, markets and morals project is led by Dr Lucy Frith (University of Liverpool) and Professor Cam Donaldson (Glasgow Caledonian University).

Professor Donaldson said: “This new healthcare landscape necessitates renewed consideration of what type of health service we want and how healthcare should and can be funded in an age of austerity. Consequently, there is a pressing need for public debate over the long-term sustainability of the health and social care system.”

Health economist Professor Donaldson is the Yunus Chair in Social Business and Health. The Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health is undertaking pioneering research into the relationship between social business and health improvement.

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