Medical Economics

An Integrated Approach to the Economics of Health

Konrad Obermann, Christian Thielscher

£70.00  |  $99.00
ISBN 9781788211895
£24.99  |  $35.00
ISBN 9781788211901
£24.99  |  $35.00
ISBN 9781788211918
336 pages   |  240 x 170mm   |  18 November 2021


Health economics has become an established field of enquiry over the past 30 years and is now an important contributor to normative health policy, and decisions concerning the allocation of resources and the quality of health care provision. However, the economic theory that underpins health economics is largely built on the neoclassical school of economic thought at the expense of other heterodox approaches to economics. This book addresses this imbalance of influence and draws on a wider breadth of economic thinking in order to improve health care for everyone.

Written by two medics, who are also qualified economists, the book aims to introduce students to complex economic principles and analytical frameworks through a mixture of hypothetical thought experiments and real-world examples. The text is divided into six parts, each aimed at expanding the reader’s cognizance of core issues in health economics: health and economic thinking; health insurance; health economic evaluation; justice and health priority setting; health management; and macroeconomics and health.

Addressing concerns that are relevant to both the individual and to public health, this text offers broad, complementary discussions to the paradigms conventionally deployed in health economics and will be welcomed by both economists and medical practitioners alike.


Introduction: approaching health economics

Part I Health, health care, and health-care systems
1. Understanding “health” in health economics
2. From disease to care
3. Ethics, values and the idea of a good life
4. Medicine as a business: caring for patients and managing a business
5. Financing health care
6. The relation between macroeconomics and health
7. Comparing health systems

Part II Health economic theory
8. Approaching health care from an economic point of view
9. The standard in current economics: neoclassical economics
10. Markets, market failure, state intervention and state failure
11. Options to finance medical care
12. Evaluation methods in health economics
13. Health technology and health technology assessment
14. Paying for medical care: balancing appropriateness, quality, and cost

Part III From theory to practice: using medical economics to improve global health
15. Medical economics: an applied interdisciplinary science that looks at evidence, considers complexity and implements what works
16. Global health and social health protection
17. Towards rational financing for health care
18. Priority setting and essential health service packages
19. The Covid-19 outbreak and the role of medical economics in responding to global health threats
Epilogue: moving beyond the commoditization of health and making better use of the "dismal science"

Author Information

Konrad Obermann is Senior Staff Scientist at Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University. He is a medical doctor and economist with over 25 years experience in clinical care, research and strategic planning. His particular research interests are in international health economics, health system development and health care financing.

Christian Thielscher is Director of the Competence Centre for Medical Economics at FOM University, Essen, Germany. He is editor of the successful 2 volume textbook on health economics, Medizinokonomie (Springer, 2015).

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