The Office of Health Economics  
Page 1
 The Economics of Health Care
Reviewed for currency: October 2002

1. The problems of health care
2. The free market approach
3. The case against a free market
4. Health care in the UK
5. Health care - further questions
Appendix. Statistics
Site map
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What is in this electronic resource?

Welcome to the Office of Health Economics' interactive e_source 'The Economics of Health Care'. It is aimed at post-16 students of economic courses, although it contains much that should also be of interest to anyone wishing to understand the basic principles of health care economics.

This e_source represents the third edition of 'The Economics of Health Care'. The second edition, launched in 1999, has been fully updated and extended.

This e_source is split into five units, which are shown on the left. In these units, we will show how economists have approached the problem of health care. This involves introducing and explaining the economic theory which underpins health economists' analysis. Much of this theory will look familiar to economics students - scarcity, supply & demand and market failure. But this is not just classroom theory - this is theory applied to actual problems leading to concrete policies. This e_source should bring this textbook theory to life and it will give you a much deeper understanding of the kind of problems and challenges that the modern health service faces.

There is also an appendix with six sets of data which are relevant to this e_source and will interest students and teachers.

PDF Download

The entire text of this e_source is available in portable document format (pdf). You can download the file and print as many copies as you like to use yourself or with your students. You can download the file by clicking below. The file's size is 504 kB.

download pdf of e-source If you have difficulty downloading, try clicking your right mouse button (PC) or holding down the mouse button (Mac) and choosing the option to save the link to disc.


The future of health care and the state of the National Health Service are daily news items. Discussion of health care arouses great passion - who gets health care and how much they get is both a moral and practical challenge to a civilised society and of personal interest to us all. We don't want to get ill and we want to be properly treated if we do. Economics as a discipline can provide great insight into these issues. The fundamental problem of scarcity requires choices. Even if our preference is to spend more on health care, there are limits as to how much of our national income we can spend on its provision. However much we do decide to spend, we want to spend it efficiently so that we get more health care for a given commitment of resources.

Using this electronic resource

Some parts of the site interactive.

  • A green arrow provide a navigation section.
  • A blue arrow provide navigation through the pages of sections.
There is a navigation palette on the left of each page - use this to move forwards and backwards through the pages and units. It also provides links to the index and search facilities. If you get lost, use the Go to button at the top of the page to reveal the full contents of the e_source. All of its headings are linked to the named page.

The headings along the top of the page will always take you back to the beginning of a chapter or back to this page - the beginning of the whole e_source.

Teachers' notes

Teachers' notes are available in portable document format (pdf). You can download this 132k file by clicking. Once you have downloaded them, you can print as many copies as you like.

download pdf of teachers' notes If you have difficulty downloading, try clicking your right mouse button (PC) or holding down the mouse button (Mac) and choosing the option to save the link to disc.


This e_source was written by Martin Green of Watford Grammar School and prepared by ISE Ltd for the Office of Health Economics (OHE). Please contact ISE Ltd or OHE with any comments about the e_source or its contents respectively: Article and news from search people in Dating Service online

Office of Health Economics,
12 Whitehall,
London SW1A 2DY

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