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Understanding health economics
  1. ANDREW HART
  1. Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Norwich NR1 3SR, UK

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    Understanding health economics, Paul R McCrone, pp 136. Kogan Page, 1998. £15.99, paperback. ★★★★

    This book provides an introduction to and overview of health economics that will be of interest to medical, nursing and managerial staff. The first chapter defines economics and its relevance to the National Health Service as well as what is meant by cost to different groups. The subsequent chapters explain basic general economic terms and principles, how health outcomes can be monitored and the models for evaluating the costs of healthcare. Topics included in these sections are QALYs, cost-effectiveness models and cost-utility analysis. Later chapters deal with evidence-based medicine and randomised controlled trials and the concept of prioritising. The final section gives a stepwise guide to the practicalities of assessing evidence and how to conduct an economic evaluation.

    This book is well written, easy to follow and enjoyable to read. It will be ideal for health and managerial professionals who have no or little previous experience of health economics. Its strengths are that it concentrates on basic principles and defines all relevant new terms. The understanding of new concepts is facilitated by the text containing many clinical examples and case studies. Other advantages include a comprehensive bibliography and list of abbreviations. I would strongly recommend this text to those wishing to seek an introduction and overview of health economics.

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