- List of Illustrations and Tables
- List of Contributors
- Medicine and Health in the Graeco-Roman World
- Medieval Medicine
- Early Modern Medicine
- Health and Medicine in the Enlightenment
- Medicine and Modernity
- Contemporary History of Medicine and Health
- Global and Local Histories of Medicine: Interpretative Challenges and Future Possibilities
- Chinese Medicine
- Medicine in Islam and Islamic Medicine
- Medicine in Western Europe
- History of Medicine in Eastern Europe, Including Russia
- Science and Medicine in the United States of America
- Public Health and Medicine in Latin America
- History of Medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Medicine and Colonialism in South Asia since 1500
- History of Medicine in Australia and New Zealand
- Childhood and Adolescence
- Medicine and Old Age
- Historical Demography and Epidemiology: The Meta-Narrative Challenge
- Chronic Illness and Disease History
- Public Health
- The Political Economy of Health Care in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
- Health, Work, and Environment: A Hippocratic Turn in Medical History
- History of Science and Medicine
- Women, Health, and Medicine
- Health and Sexuality
- Medicine and the Mind
- Medical Ethics and the Law
- Medicine and Species: One Medicine, One History?
- Histories of Heterodoxy
- Oral Testimony and the History of Medicine
- Medical Film and Television: An Alternative Path to the Cultures of Biomedicine
Abstract and Keywords
The main aim of this article is to account for the coming of health systems within welfare states and to examine how these systems respond to demographic, financial, and technological changes in the contemporary period. The question of why the state entered this arena in the recent past is therefore of over-arching importance, and this article summarizes common theoretical approaches advanced to explain this process. It outlines the nineteenth-century foundations of social insurance and public provision of medical facilities on which state engagement was built. It traces the growth and development of health systems in the case-study countries, dividing events into three broad periods: the early twentieth century, in which they were largely put in place; the post-war ‘golden-age’ of the welfare state; and attempts since the 1970s to reform health systems in response to burgeoning costs and ideological critique. The conclusion reflects on how the different models adopted have impacted on population health.
Martin Gorsky is Senior Lecturer in the Contemporary History of Public Health in the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research interests lie in the history of public health and health services in Britain, Europe, and America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and he has published widely on the development of the British voluntary hospitals and of mutual associations such as friendly societies and hospital contributory schemes. Amongst his current research projects are a study of the history of management in the British NHS, a history of the public health poster in twentieth-century Poland, the construction and analysis of morbidity indices derived from sickness insurance records, and the performance of health services under local government in interwar Britain.
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