Strategic purchasing is a popular and frequently proposed policy for improving the efficiency and adaptiveness of health systems. The COVID-19 pandemic shocked health systems, creating a test of the adaptability and resiliency of their key features. This research study explores (i) what role purchasing systems and agents played in the COVID-19 pandemic, (ii) if it was strategic, and (iii) how it has contributed to a resilient health system. We conducted a qualitative, comparative study of six countries in the European Union—focusing on three as in-depth case studies—to understand how and when strategic purchasers responded to seven clearly defined health system “shocks” that they all experienced during the pandemic. We found that every case country relied on the federal government to fund and respond to the pandemic. Purchasers often had very limited, and if any then only passive, roles.

Fuente: Health Policy
Available online 14 June 2022