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Professional Health Regulation in the Public InterestInternational Perspectives$
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John Martyn Chamberlain, Mike Dent, and Mike Saks

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447332268

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447332268.001.0001

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Introduction: professional health regulation in the public interest

Introduction: professional health regulation in the public interest

(p.1) One Introduction: professional health regulation in the public interest
Professional Health Regulation in the Public Interest

John Martyn Chamberlain

Policy Press

This chapter provides a commentary on, and introduces, the collection of papers in this volume. It begins by outlining how professional forms of health care expertise have become increasingly subject over the last four decades to third-party scrutiny, as well as how we have witnessed greater public involvement in the monitoring and quality assurance of healthcare work, particularly in Western neo-liberal societies. It then discusses how these changes have led the ‘social closure’ model of professional work to become revised, and in doing so how this raises concerns regarding academic engagement with members of the public as part of a broader patient advocacy and policy reform agenda focused on the promotion of the public interest. This discussion helps set the scene for subsequent chapters, which together seek to unpack the complex relationships that exist between health care practitioners, civil society, the state and professional groups in a variety of different international borders and regulatory jurisdictions. In doing so, each author seeks to explore critically how calls for increased efficiency and cost effectiveness in healthcare are balanced with the need to promote the public interest through providing citizens with essential health services.

Keywords:   economics of punishment, health care regulation, public interest, social closure, sociology of professions

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