Health Indicators and Health Systems Analysis

  • Émile Lévy
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


The main points raised in this paper are:
  • The solution proposed by a number of authors, i.e. a final result indicator expressed as a scale with several degrees, is not practical in the short run.

  • It is not adequate to data at hand, and it presents the risk that useful information might be lost.

The health state is a very complex phenomenon. Even a superficial system analysis indicates that it presents four aspects:
  1. (a)

    the vulnerability aspect (exposure to risk factors like disease);

  2. (b)

    the morbidity aspect, itself being divided into several expressions depending on the agent (subjective, diagnostic or objective morbidity);

  3. (c)

    the protection aspect (by medical services and social insurance);

  4. (d)

    the result aspect (physical and mental validity, duration of life).

The problem remains that the information we possess is expressive, in the best case, of only one of these aspects.

Now, it is just as dangerous to highlight one of these to express the health status as it is to aggregate all of them because of weighting problems revealed.

The solution suggested here is a linked set of data on these four aspects, which has to be reordered in relation to each specific problem (priorities, choice of techniques, etc).


Social Security Health Indicator Social Indicator Medical Situation Social Report 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    J. Delors, Les Indicateurs Sociaux (Paris: Éditions SEDEIS, 1971).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid., pp. 27–43.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    C. L. Chiang, ‘An Index of Health: Mathematical Models’, N.C.H.S., 2nd series, no. 5 (1965).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Division of Indian Health, ‘Principles of Program Packaging in the Division of Indian Health’ (Silver Springs, Md., 15 Jan 1966).Google Scholar


  1. 1.
    C. Lefaure, ‘L’Innovation et le Progrès Technique dans le Secteur de la Santé: Approche Économique’, D.Sc. Econ. thesis (Paris, 1972).Google Scholar


  1. 1.
    L. Lebart, ‘Analyse Statistique Régionale des Consommations Médicales’, mimeo (CREDOC, 1969), and idem, ‘Recherches sur le Coût de Protection de la Vie Humaine dans le Domaine Médical’, mimeo (CREDOC, 1970).Google Scholar


  1. 1.
    C. Herzlich, Santé et Maladie: Analyse d’une Représentation Sociale (Paris: Mouton, 1969).Google Scholar


  1. 1.
    Lebart, op. cit.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The International Economic Association 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Émile Lévy
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de Paris-DauphineFrance

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