The Health of Nations: Towards a New Political Economy

The Health of Nations: Towards a New Political Economy


By (author) Gavin Mooney


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  • Publisher: ZED BOOKS LTD
  • Format: Paperback | 162 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 212mm x 14mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 15 April 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1780320590
  • ISBN 13: 9781780320595
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: maps
  • Sales rank: 194,082

Product description

Why, despite vast resources being expended on health and health care, is there still so much ill health and premature death? Why do massive inequalities in health - both within and between countries - remain? In this devastating critique, internationally renowned health economist Gavin Mooney places the responsibility for these problems firmly at the door of neoliberalism. 'The Health of Nations' analyses how power is exercised both in health-care systems and in society more generally. In doing so, it reveals how too many vested interests hinder efficient and equitable policies to promote healthy populations, while too little is done to address the social determinants of health. Instead, Mooney argues, health services and health policy more generally should be returned to the communities they serve. Taking in a broad range of international case studies - from the UK to the US, South Africa to Cuba - this provocative book places issues of power and politics in health care systems centre stage, making a compelling case for the need to re-evaluate how we approach health care globally.

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Author information

Gavin Mooney is based in Perth in Western Australia. He has worked as a health economist for 40 years and held academic positions in Scotland, Scandinavia, South Africa and Australia. In 2009 he was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Cape Town as 'one of the founding fathers of health economics'. He has published widely with over 20 books to his name. Gavin has also acted as a consultant to WHO and to the OECD. Equity is a key research focus. In recent years he has become particularly interested in the impact of poverty and inequality on health and in turn of neo liberalism on power structures in society and in healthcare systems. Much of this is reflected in his Challenging Health Economics for OUP in 2009. He is also an advocate for using community values through citizens' juries in health care (see

Review quote

'The reader will be absorbed from the first to the last page. ... This book is not only immediately relevant, it will become a classic' Vicente Navarro, in the Preface 'This is a biting and insightful book on what is wrong with the political economy of the world today that so much goes wrong with our health systems. Sharply written and informative in the best Zed tradition!' Prof. Gita Sen, Centre for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management 'This is Mooney at his 'no-holds-barred' best, laying bare the power relationships affecting health. Unless health economists start paying attention to the political economy of health, progress in solving the health challenges facing us will be painfully slow. This book is setting us on that path.' Prof. Di McIntyre, Health Economics Unit, University of Cape Town

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Why has the economics of health care policy gone wrong? Chapter 3. Why have broader policies affecting health been inadequate ? Chapter 4. The malaise of neoliberalism in health, health care and health economics Chapter 5. Neoliberalism, the global institutions and health Chapter 6. The US: the fear of 'socialised' health care Chapter 7. The UK NHS and the market Chapter 8. South Africa, neoliberalism and HIV/AIDS Chapter 9. Australia and victim blaming Chapter 10. A local community versus a corporation Chapter 11. The pharmaceutical industry Chapter 12. Neoliberalism and global warming Chapter 13. The solutions in theory: communitarian claims Chapter 14. The solutions in health care Chapter 15. The solutions on society more generally Chapter 16. Kerala: community participation Chapter 17. Cuba: health care and social determinants of Chapter 18. Venezuela: power to the community Chapter 19. Conclusion