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KE Seminar - Health care rationing: uncertainty, difference and complexity

  • Venue: Seminar Room, Wolfson Building, Durham University, Queen's Campus, Stockton
  • Start: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:00:00 GMT
  • End: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 13:00:00 GMT

Title: Health care rationing: uncertainty, difference and complexity
Speaker: Dr Tiago Moreira, Reader in Sociology, School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University

Health care rationing has been a topic of intense academic and policy debate since at least the 1970s. This debate falls broadly into three positions. One approach is to propose that applying market forces will lead to the best outcome. A second approach is to use recognised quality of life measures (for example, the number of healthy years gained following a medical procedure) to compare the value of such interventions. Alternatively itâEUR(TM)s suggested that a conclusion about the validity of these measures can only be properly tested through democratic, public discussion. A third approach is to take the view that rationing decisions will always be influenced by politics or the particular context in which the decision has to be made.

Tiago Moreira argues that analysing these decision making processes can help health bodies to manage priority setting better. He suggests that this requires an attention to uncertainty and complexity, and proposes a model to understanding how different knowledge forms and ideals for health care have become embedded health care rationing. Tiago explores how gathering evidence, assessing quality of life preferences or human capacities, and using methods of public deliberation lead to different and contradictory assumptions being brought into the debate. He will propose that rather than smoothing over such differences, health bodies involved in setting priorities should monitor the outcome of applying different approaches in practice and learn from them.

KEG January 2014


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