About this book
Intensive care medicine is one of the fastest growing services provided by hospitals and perhaps one of the most expensive. Yet in response to the global financial crisis of the last few years, healthcare funding is slowing or decreasing throughout the world.
How we manage health care resources in the intensive care unit (ICU) now and in a future that promises only greater cost constraints is the subject of this book, the third in an informal series of volumes providing a global perspective on difficult issues arising in the ICU.
Leading healthcare experts, including critical care physicians, critical care nurses, ethicists, and attorneys, provide snapshots of current ICU resource allocation in 12 developed countries on which other experts then draw to analyze resource allocation and consumer demand at the level of the global medical village. The process is repeated with an eye toward the future that takes into account initiatives and reforms now underway.
A fictional healthcare plan, the “Fair & Equitable Healthcare Plan,” is put forth to address weaknesses in existing approaches, and healthcare experts and ethicists are invited to respond to its often provocative provisions. Structured as a dialogue, the book is a great starting point for serious discussion about the looming issue of ICU healthcare resource allocation.