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      Understanding health systems, health economies and globalization: the need for social science perspectives

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      Globalization and Health

      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          The complex relationship between globalization and health calls for research from many disciplinary and methodological perspectives. This editorial gives an overview of the content trajectory of the interdisciplinary journal ‘Globalization and Health’ over the first six years of production, 2005 to 2010. The findings show that bio-medical and population health perspectives have been dominant but that social science perspectives have become more evident in recent years. The types of paper published have also changed, with a growing proportion of empirical studies. A special issue on ‘Health systems, health economies and globalization: social science perspectives’ is introduced, a collection of contributions written from the vantage points of economics, political science, psychology, sociology, business studies, social policy and research policy. The papers concern a range of issues pertaining to the globalization of healthcare markets and governance and regulation issues. They highlight the important contribution that can be made by the social sciences to this field, and also the practical and methodological challenges implicit in the study of globalization and health.

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          Most cited references 24

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          The Extended Case Method

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            The 'diagonal' approach to Global Fund financing: a cure for the broader malaise of health systems?

            Background The potentially destructive polarisation between 'vertical' financing (aiming for disease-specific results) and 'horizontal' financing (aiming for improved health systems) of health services in developing countries has found its way to the pages of Foreign Affairs and the Financial Times. The opportunity offered by 'diagonal' financing (aiming for disease-specific results through improved health systems) seems to be obscured in this polarisation. In April 2007, the board of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria agreed to consider comprehensive country health programmes for financing. The new International Health Partnership Plus, launched in September 2007, will help low-income countries to develop such programmes. The combination could lead the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to a much broader financing scope. Discussion This evolution might be critical for the future of AIDS treatment in low-income countries, yet it is proposed at a time when the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is starved for resources. It might be unable to meet the needs of much broader and more expensive proposals. Furthermore, it might lose some of its exceptional features in the process: its aim for international sustainability, rather than in-country sustainability, and its capacity to circumvent spending restrictions imposed by the International Monetary Fund. Summary The authors believe that a transformation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria into a Global Health Fund is feasible, but only if accompanied by a substantial increase of donor commitments to the Global Fund. The transformation of the Global Fund into a 'diagonal' and ultimately perhaps 'horizontal' financing approach should happen gradually and carefully, and be accompanied by measures to safeguard its exceptional features.
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              Why is research from developing countries underrepresented in international health literature, and what can be done about it?

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Global Health
                Global Health
                Globalization and Health
                BioMed Central
                1744-8603
                2012
                31 August 2012
                : 8
                : 30
                Affiliations
                [1 ]King’s College London, 57 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8WA, UK
                [2 ]Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi, 110067, India
                [3 ]RAND Europe, Westbrook Centre, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 1YG, UK
                Article
                1744-8603-8-30
                10.1186/1744-8603-8-30
                3544147
                22938504
                Copyright ©2012 Murray et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Editorial

                Health & Social care

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