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Publication abstract

Planning, markets and hospitals

Publication details Mohan J 2002 Planning, markets and hospitals. London: Routledge. On-line abstract, (ISBN: 0-415-19606-X)

Improving access to hospital services has been a goal of public policy in Britain since early in the 20th century, but the means by which this goal is to be attained have changed significantly over time. This book represents a systematic attempt to assess the strengths and weaknesses of different forms of planning and coordination of hospital development. From the perspective of those interested in the voluntary hospitals, the most relevant chapters are those (chapters 2-4) which deal with the mixed economy of hospital provision in the interwar period, the adequacy of the voluntary and municipal systems, embryonic attempts to establish public-private partnerships, and debates in the wartime years about how best to develop a national health system in the future. The book proceeds to analyse the development of hospital policy after 1948, through a period of hierarchical planning symbolised by the 1962 Hospital Plan for England and Wales and the subsequent era of frustration and disillusionment with planning, leading to a revival of localism and competition in hospital policy. The book makes contributions to enduring debates about planning and regulation of health care, about the governance of welfare services, and about the appropriate role for voluntary, commercial and charitable provision of services.

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