Macroeconomic Evaluation of Kidney Dialysis

  • F. F. H. Rutten
Conference paper


Medical technology plays a decisive role in the development of health care consumption. One estimate is that 50% of the increase in hospital care cost is due, directly or indirectly, to medical technology (Gaus 1976). Aaron (1981) points at the dual role of medical technology nowadays:

On the one hand medical technology that existed until recently made relatively cheap the collective decision to treat health care as a right to which the usual canons of the market allocation and distribution were not allowed to apply. On the other hand recent changes in medical technology make the continuation of that traditional approach very costly. These changes in technology have led to world-wide interest in medical cost containment; but they have forced (or soon will force) a popular reexamination of attitudes toward health care delivery in most developed countries and will probably lead to important changes in the role of government in financing and regulating the delivery of health care.

This statement shows in a nutshell the formidable problems faced today. It also suggests that ultimately choices will have to be made by policy-makers at government level. In this paper we will see how macroeconomic analysis may augment policy-making, focusing on the treatment of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) by haemodialysis.


Dialysis Patient ESRD Patient Dialysis Treatment Evaluative Study Alternative Programme 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. F. H. Rutten
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LimburgMaastrichtNetherlands

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