2012 Conference Presentation
With privatization, more and more of health care becomes a luxury good rather than a public good. In the process, access to health care becomes more precarious.
Using specific examples from the United Kingdom and Canada, and in particular from the long-term residential care sector, this paper explores three vital ways that the for-profit provision of health care undermines access to it. The paper asks: will the service be there; will we be individually or collectively able to pay for it; and will its quality be adversely affected. In exploring these questions, the paper links the increasing reliance on the for-profit provision of health care to two other forms of privatization: the shift of health care work to the household, where it is primarily and often invisibly undertaken by women, and the application of managerial practices drawn from the for-profit sector to health care.