The Public Interest

Paradoxes of health care

Nathan Glazer

Winter 1971

SOME intriguing questions--indeed, mysteries--seem to arise when one examines the field of health care. I intend to present some data--the best available, to my knowledge---bearing on three assumptions which most people accept as unquestionably valid: (1) that we need more health personnel, particularly doctors; (2) that the poor get less health care than the non-poor; (3) that the approaches to health to be found in England and Sweden are clearly superior to our own and should serve as a model for us. I then propose to raise a more general question about the cultural differences among groups as a neglected problem in the assessment of health care.

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