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Modernising health careReinventing professions, the state and the public$
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Ellen Kuhlmann

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348586

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348586.001.0001

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date: 19 August 2017

New actors enter the stage: the silent voices of consumers in the landscape of biomedicine

New actors enter the stage: the silent voices of consumers in the landscape of biomedicine

Chapter:
(p.154) (p.155) Seven New actors enter the stage: the silent voices of consumers in the landscape of biomedicine
Source:
Modernising health care
Author(s):

Ellen Kuhlmann

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861348586.003.0008

This chapter focuses on the changing role of service users and brings the demands and voices of patients into the equation. Research findings show that the model of ‘expert patients’ and ‘discriminating consumers’ is a limited one when applied to health care and the very diverse needs and demands of patients. Generally speaking, patients welcome their new role as informed service users, but at the same time, they sometimes feel incapable of filling this role and seek out doctors' advice in some situations. However, they take the calls for self-responsibility seriously and call for comprehensive information, especially on complementary and alternative therapies. In the German system, with its culture of equal access to health care services covered by the Statutory Health Insurance (SHI) funds, health policy's new promises on participation may turn out to challenge the state rather than the professions.

Keywords:   health care, health service users, alternative therapies, Germany, Statutory Health Insurance

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