Health care decision-makers throughout the world continue to struggle with the conflicting pressures of controlling health care expenditure while satisfying both increased demands and rising public expenditure. Difficult decisions about the allocation of health care are inevitable. Workers in the field are increasingly called upon to consider the economic consequences of their day-to-day practice, and yet there is very little hard data on which to base decision-making. Clinical Economics in Gastroenterology is the first book of its kind to tackle these thorny issues. It applies clinical economics to gastrointestinal disorders, which are amongst the most common complaints and which result in substantial morbidity and mortality. The economic techniques developed to quantify and compare the price and benefits of rival treatments seem remote from clinical reality. This book tries to bring the clinical scenario, with its variety of both presentation and treatment response, together with an economic perspective that assigns monetary values to all aspects of disease.
The result is a synthesis of information that yields interesting conclusions on the one hand, and which identifies the need for further research on the other. It contains an introductory chapter that outlines the principles of clinical economics that is followed by 14 chapters applying these to gastrointestinal disorders or procedures. This book will be of real practical help to gastroenterologists and hospital managers trying to evaluate management decisions on grounds of cost and benefit.