Decentralization in health care. Strategies and outcomes (2007)



Edited by Richard B. Saltman, Vaida Bankauskaite and Karsten Vrangbaek
Published by Open University Press
European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies series
2007, xxii + 298 pages
ISBN 0 335 21925 X (Paperback) £25.99
ISBN 0 335 21926 8 (Hardback) £70.00

Decentralization has become a popular management strategy in many European health care systems. The logic of decentralization is an intrinsically powerful idea: that smaller organizations, properly structured and steered, are inherently more agile and accountable than larger organizations. In a world where large organizations control wide swathes of both public and private sector activity, the possibility of establishing more locally operated, locally responsible institutions holds out great attraction.

This text explores the capacity and impact of decentralization within European health care systems. It examines both the theoretical underpinnings as well as recent practical experiences, drawing on both published literature and evidence collected directly from the field. The book also assesses the appropriateness of management processes in health systems for implementing a successful decentralization strategy.

Decentralization in health care will appeal to health policy-makers, postgraduates taking courses in health services management, human resources, health policy and health economics, and human resources professionals.