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Introduction to health economics for the medical practitioner
  1. D P Kernick
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr D P Kernick, St Thomas’ Medical Group, Cowick Street, Exeter EX4 1HJ, UK; 
 su1838{at}eclipse.co.uk

Abstract

Against a background of increasing demands on limited resources, health economics is exerting an influence on decision making at all levels of health care. Health economics seeks to facilitate decision making by offering an explicit decision making framework based on the principle of efficiency. It is not the only consideration but it is an important one and practitioners will need to have an understanding of its basic principles and how it can impact on clinical decision making. This article reviews some of the basic principles of health economics and in particular economic evaluation.

  • health economics
  • economic evaluation
  • GP, general practitioner
  • QALY, quality adjusted life year
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