Commercializing German Hospital Care? Effects of New Public Management and Managed Care under Neoliberal Conditions
GPS, Vol. 5 No. 1, (2009)
Market-led reform strategies around the world have given rise to fears of a progressive commercialization of hospital care. The aim of this article is to suggest an analytical framework that might explain the ubiquitous market-led reform strategies and to scrutinize widespread claim that commercialization processes impacts negatively on quality and equality of access. In comparing an ideal type model of commercialized health care with institutional and organizational change the article provides an assessment of commerciali-zation processes in German hospital care. Although there is a newly evolving market-led governance structure in German hospital care commercialization processes have, however, been restricted. While there are strong signs that on a regulatory level the German hospital sector has become successively commercialized, there is insufficient data and research to prove the suspected negative impact on quality and equality of care provision.