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Sound management, too much fiscal discipline, can be counterproductive. (Reports For Romanow).

Sound management of the health care system's finances is not enough to ensure its sustainability and, in fact, too much fiscal discipline can be counterproductive, say researchers--Louis M. Imbeau, Kina Chenard, and Adriana Dudas--from Laval University.

Their paper, The Conditions for a Sustainable Public Health System in Canada, looks at how a political environment geared to balancing budgets, paying down the debt and cutting taxes impacts on the preservation or sustainability of the health system. It doesn't, they conclude, stating that by stressing organizations' financial capacity, the prevailing economic theory neglects the organizational and epistemic aspects of the health system's capacity.

The paper makes five recommendations:

* make it a priority to rapidly restore the level of federal funding for the health system in order to enhance the system's capacity to respond to the public's health needs;

* reaffirm the five fundamental principles of Canada's health system--universality, accessibility, portability, comprehensiveness and public administration --as conditions that the provinces must meet for federal funding;

* make the Canada Health and Social Transfer the tool of choice for funding the health system, rather than the transfer of tax points

* encourage research on budgetary convention in health organizations;

* support social research on the health system, in particular on the interaction among financial, organizational and epistemic capacities.
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Publication:Community Action
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Aug 19, 2002
Previous Article:Complex or complicated? (Report For Romanow).
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