Public Health Care. Priorities and a Sound Financial Basis for Health Care in the 21st Century

Health care can remain accessible for everyone in the longer term by incorporating a basic package of health care services in a universal system of social insurance. People would also be able to take out supplementary insurance for additional care of their choice on a voluntary basis under the key proposal in the WRR’s report Public Health Care (Report no. 52, 1997).

Collective responsibility

The key question addressed in the report is which part of the current health-care package should be regarded as a collective responsibility. Determining those limits is obviously a task for the government. Only then does the question arise of how to safeguard the necessary risk-solidarity. The answer to that question is a system of universal social insurance coverage along the lines outlined by the WRR in the report.

Determining the limits of the basic package

The WRR also suggests instruments for determining the limits of the basic health care package in the report. In that context, the priorities are the dual objectives of public health policy: promoting public health and providing care and nursing for the sick. According to the WRR, a transparent system of health care based on a clear and coherent division of responsibilities can be designed along the lines it suggests.