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Bitsiori Zoi, Balaska Dimitra, Konstantinopoulou Athanasia

Friday, September 1, 2017

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Pages: 171-180

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1165429


Introduction:A market is considered to be competitive when there is a large number of both buyers and sellers, each of whom has no power to influence prices, which are shaped by demand and supply. The aim of the present study was to explore whether health services can function as a competitive market and if so under what conditions. Methods:The methodology of the study included research on both international and Greek literature as well as on internet sources.Results:Although there are peculiarities in the health sector, the rules governing the free market can not apply to it. Peculiarities concern the unstable and unpredictable demand, the habitual behaviour of doctors, the provisions offered and the asymmetric information. There is also a limited supply of medical services, pricing practices for medical services, moral hazard and unfavorable choice. Conclusion:The healthcare system in Greece is a mixed system of public and private funding and service provision. It is a highly fragmented system that suffers from corruption and inefficiency. In conclusion, the prevailing health sector conditions alter the fundamental rules of the market and as a result it cannot follow the laws of a free competitive market.

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