The Public Interest

The economics of health in a post-industrial society

Victor R. Fuchs

Summer 1979

THE most important, and perhaps the most surprising, finding of health economics is this: Holding constant the state of medical technology and other health-determining variables, the marginal contribution of medical care to health is very small in modern nations. Those who advocate ever more physicians, nurses, hospitals, and the like are either mistaken or have in mind objectives other than the improvement of the health of the population.

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