The team has been awarded €1.5 million from the NORFACE welfare state futures programme for the ‘The Paradox of Health State Futures’ (HEALTHDOX) project, which will look at health policy developments from 1990 to the present in Estonia, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. This three-year project will investigate the impact of recent health reforms on health inequalities, health expenditures, and public attitudes towards both the health system and the welfare state.
Dr Devitt, co-principal investigator on the project, commented: “At its broadest level, the project poses the question of whether there is a paradox of health state futures. Europeanization and globalization processes may be putting National Health Service-types of health systems under increasing pressure to converge to the Continental health insurance model. But National Health Services may be the type of health system best suited both to cope with the rising health costs associated with population aging, and to regenerate public support for the welfare state amongst increasingly diverse populations.”
“This project will investigate health policy developments from 1990 to the present in Estonia, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. The impact of these policy changes will be analysed using quantitative data found in both national and international sources. Our team is comprised of qualitative and quantitative researchers from the fields of political science and sociology, whose combined expertise includes health politics, health policy, demography, migration, comparative and European politics, and the politics and sociology of the welfare state.”
The comparative and transnational design of the project will provide insights into health inequalities, the meaning of the welfare state for individuals, and the future politics of the welfare state, as well as to provide health policy-makers with important feedback on their policies.
The project is being coordinated by Professor Ellen Immergut, Humboldt University Berlin. The other principal investigators are Mare Ainsaar, University of Tartu, Karen Anderson, Radboud University Nijmegen, Maria Asensio, Universidade de Lisboa, Paula Blomqvist, Uppsala University and Maria Oskarson, University of Gothenburg.
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