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Health and Labour-Force Participation of the Elderly in Taiwan

  • Cem Mete
  • T. Paul Schultz
Part of the International Studies In Population book series (ISIP, volume 3)

Economic performance of low-income countries may be affected by their system of health care. But there is no consensus regarding the optimum level of public health spending, or the efficiency and equity of various schemes for financing public and private health care. On the one hand, excessive government spending on health care in poor countries could divert resources from promising investment opportunities and thus translate into slower economic growth. Some countries have used public health subsidies with restraint at early stages of economic development, but at later stages public expenditure on health increase as a share of GDP—often with the goal of universal coverage of health care. Reviewing the health care experiences of “successful” East Asian countries—Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan—Gertler (1998) notes that these countries achieved universal coverage of health care only after they had reached relatively high levels of income, were largely urbanized, and most of their workers were in the formal sector. Gertler cautions against early implementation of universal coverage because the resulting health subsidies encourage overuse of health care (i.e., moral hazard) and inefficient allocation of health goods and services. If cost inflation of medical curative care is partly borne by the private consumer, this may also deter the adoption of new medical technology until it is cost effective.

Keywords

National Health Insurance National Health Insurance Program Executive Yuan Health Status Variable Taiwan Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cem Mete
    • 1
  • T. Paul Schultz
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale UnivesityUSA

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