Health Programs as Social Programs: Navigating Difficult Healthcare Policy Decisions

  • Samuel Kris Case Seshadri University of Victoria
Keywords: Keywords: cost­effectiveness analysis; societal perspectives; healthcare decision making; health economics; quality adjusted life year


Apart from public health and preventive medicine campaigns, a health authority funds healthcare programs primarily for the purpose of immediately improving clinical patient out­ comes. For individual health treatments, funding decisions by Canadian provincial govern­ ments incorporate some equivalent of a cost­benefit calculation,such as the cost­effectiveness analysis (CEA). This research is important to health policy makers because it considers the effects of expanding a CEA to analyze societal impacts that are already of importance to the government when the appropriateness or accuracy of the cost­benefit calculation is unclear. I use the example of in vitro fertilization funding programs to demonstrate the argument that health programs may also address other relevant issues related to the social determinants of health.

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