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October 18, 1985

The End of an Illusion: The Future of Health Policy in Western Industrialized Nations

Author Affiliations

Center for Health Administration Studies University of Chicago


edited by Jean de Kervasdoué, John R. Kimberly, and Victor G. Rodwin (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care, Charles Leslie, ed), 292 pp, $28.50, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1984.

JAMA. 1985;254(15):2150-2151. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360150130043

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The "illusion" according to the editors of this volume is that "the welfare state can provide an abundance of health services for all its citizens.... In the future, social policy is likely to veer from idealism to realism, from opportunity to constraint." This book reports the results of a seminar in Megève, France, sponsored by the Association Economic et Santé in the winter of 1979. The participants who contributed to this edited volume included an international group of health services organization researchers, administrators, and government officials. While they all apparently agreed with the theme of the book that in Western industrialized nations, the health sector can no longer continue to grow as it has in the past, they represent a range of political persuasions and views about the options and appropriate responses for Western countries in the future.

The book has two major parts. The first includes a series of