Since the 90s, issues of scarcity, priority setting, and rationing lie at the centre of most current debates on health care. These are pressing issues: one way or another, limits have to be set. As such, the question of what is involved in just health care becomes much more complex. This complexity can be represented as an inconsistent triad, a set of three propositions of which any two are compatible but which together form a contradiction. In the case of health care, the three rival values are: social efficiency, justice, and decent-quality care. It seems to be that we can have any two but not all three. Essentially, the central question is the following: how best to square the proverbial welfare circle. How can resources be matched to needs, or needs to resources in socially acceptable and economically feasible ways? This book attempts to answer the question how health care can be incorporated into a comprehensive theory of justice, while realising an acceptable balance between efficiency, justice and care.

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