Saltman on solidarity

Brown, Lawrence D.; Chinitz, David P.

Richard Saltman suggests that solidarity, a cherished notion at the heart of West European health care systems is being reconsidered in the light of today’s austere economic conditions. Solidarity, he argues, has always been a flexible moral guideline, one that allows for policy responses, such as limitations on health benefits or increased out of pocket payments, that challenging fiscal conditions are said to demand. Here we consider what the basic elements in solidarity – universality, redistribution, and uniformity-- mean in health as compared to other social policy realms such as pensions. Traditionally, the commitment to solidarity said little about the contents of services, but the latter is perhaps subject to increasing scrutiny under the health policy microscope. Saltman is right to emphasize the conceptual and cross-national flexibility of solidarity, but the notion retains a solid and durable core that continues to give valuable direction to policymakers in search of acceptable strategies and structures for decision making.


Solidarity Health reform Economic austerity


Also Published In

Israel Journal of Health Policy Research

More About This Work

Academic Units
Health Policy and Management
Published Here
July 31, 2015