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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


JIMENEZ DE LA J, JORGE  y  BASTIAS S, GABRIEL. The scope of economic evaluation of healthcare interventions. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2010, vol.138, suppl.2, pp.71-75. ISSN 0034-9887.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has contributed to the conceptualization of a Health System stating that it has three main objectives and four functions. The main objective is Health Status, measured in Disability Adjusted Life Expectancy (DALE).The others two are Responsiveness to the people’s Non-Medical Expectations and Equity in Financing. This last is a specific indicator of economic nature. Economics has an increasing role in the health systems and the recognition of this component by actors in health services is more and more important every day. Medical professionals need to understand its meaning and relevance in many senses of medical care. Economic evaluations, mainly cost-effectiveness of health programs and socio-sanitary interventions are more complex to carry out than common social evaluations, whose context is more restricted.When formulating modern health policies, the declared objective is always the improvement and quality of healthcare. Nevertheless, in recent years policy makers have insisted in the need to secure economic rationality of interventions, both inside the program, thus achieving internal technical efficiency, as towards the whole society achieving allocative efficiency. When the purpose is to evaluate health programs, economic evaluation integrates costs with effectiveness and considers the epidemiologic profle and social preferences. The priority setting included in the Health Guarantees Plan (AUGE or GES) established by the Chilean Ministry of Health in 2005 is a clear example of a process of Health Technology Assessment , where cost-effectiveness studies were used to set the program and establish priorities. This is the frst in a series of papers related to economic evaluation of healthcare in-terventions. This paper aims to contribute to the development of this feld, providing basic concepts and its main applications to health care in Chile.

Palabras clave : Priority setting; health economics; economics evaluation; Chile.

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