Author(s): Chee HL
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Abstract The recent history of healthcare privatisation and corporatisation in Malaysia, an upper middle-income developing country, highlights the complicit role of the state in the rise of corporate healthcare. Following upon the country's privatisation policy in the 1980s, private capital made significant inroads into the healthcare provider sector. This paper explores the various ownership interests in healthcare provision: statist capital, rentier capital, and transnational capital, as well as the contending social and political forces that lie behind state interests in the privatisation of healthcare, the growing prominence of transnational activities in healthcare, and the regional integration of capital in the healthcare provider industry. Civil society organizations provide a small but important countervailing force in the contention over the future of healthcare in the country. It is envisaged that the healthcare financing system will move towards a social insurance model, in which the state has an important regulating role. The important question, therefore, is whether the Malaysian government, with its vested interests, will have the capacity and the will to play this role in a social insurance system. The issues of ownership and control have important implications for governance more generally in a future healthcare system.
This article was published in Soc Sci Med
and referenced in Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review