Framing the decision to contract out elderly care and primary health care services - perspectives of local level politicians and civil servants in Finland

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dc.contributor.author Tynkkynen, Liina-Kaisa
dc.contributor.author Lehto, Juhani
dc.contributor.author Miettinen, Sari
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-14T09:00:30Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-14T09:00:30Z
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.identifier.issn 1472-6963 -
dc.identifier.uri http://tampub.uta.fi/handle/10024/66314
dc.description BioMed Central open access -
dc.description.abstract Background In the literature there are only few empirical studies that analyse the decision makers’ reasoning to contract out health care and social services to private sector. However, the decisions on the delivery patterns of health care and social services are considered to be of great importance as they have a potential to influence citizens’ access to services and even affect their health. This study contributes to filling this cap by exploring the frames used by Finnish local authorities as they talk about contracting out of primary health care and elderly care services. Contracting with the private sector has gained increasing popularity, in Finland, during the past decade, as a practise of organising health care and social services. Methods Interview data drawn from six municipalities through thematic group interviews were used. The data were analysed applying frame analysis in order to reveal the underlying reasoning for the decisions. Results Five argumentation frames were found: Rational reasoning; Pragmatic realism; Promoting diversity among providers; Good for the municipality; Good for the local people. The interviewees saw contracting with the private sector mostly as a means to improve the performance of public providers, to improve service quality and efficiency and to boost the local economy. The decisions to contract out were mainly argued through the good for the municipal administration, political and ideological commitments, available resources and existing institutions. Conclusions This study suggests that the policy makers use a number of grounds to justify their decisions on contracting out. Most of the arguments were related to the benefits of the municipality rather than on what is best for the local people. The citizens were offered the role of active consumers who are willing to purchase services also out-of-pocket. This development has a potential to endanger the affordability of the services and lead to undermining some of the traditional principles of the Nordic welfare state. -
dc.language.iso en -
dc.title Framing the decision to contract out elderly care and primary health care services - perspectives of local level politicians and civil servants in Finland -
dc.type fi=Artikkeli aikakauslehdessä | en=Journal Article| -
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:uta-201208141025 -
dc.identifier.doi doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-201 -
dc.type.version fi=Kustantajan versio | en=Publisher's version| -
dc.subject.okm fi=Kansanterveystiede, ympäristö ja työterveys | en=Public health care science, environmental and occupational health| -
dc.administrativeunit fi=Terveystieteiden yksikkö | en=School of Health Sciences| -
dc.journal.title BMC Health Services Research -
dc.journal.volume 12 -
dc.journal.number 201 -
dc.journal.volumepagerange 1-12 -
dc.journal.url http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1472-6963-12-201.pdf -

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