Limited Resources, Priorities, and Corruption
In this chapter, we discuss the situation in countries with a national healthcare system and do not cover countries with private healthcare insurance or those where services are paid out of pocket. Very few countries can meet all the costs of modern medicine for all their citizens. The three consequences of the gap between the available resources and the costs of modern medicine are limited access to costly medical interventions, waiting times for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, and list of priorities. From the ethical standpoint, it is essential that all three of these issues are openly discussed and agreed within a wide circle including medical professionals and representatives of the lay community. In case of lack of democratic agreement and of clear rules, access to medical care may depend on the social and/or economic position of an individual. In a society based on solidarity, such a situation is contrary to the ethical principle of justice and may be considered to be a form of corruption.
KeywordsSolidarity-based healthcare Limited resources Waiting periods Probability-based medicine Dr. Jerzy Einhorn Priorities Corruption
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