Department of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Institute for Medical Technology Assessment, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
This brief paper represents an introduction to health economics as a field of research by examining the foundations of competitive theory, and applying this to the health care markets. We will discuss whether the main assumptions justifying the conclusions concerning the desirability of competitive markets are met in the health care area. The paper critiques key assumptions of the conventional economic model and applies these
arguments to health. It is beyond of the scope of this essay to propose a formal analysis of the issues reviewed.