Fluctuations in alcohol consumption in Greenland have been extreme since alcohol became available to the Greenland Inuit in the 1950s, increasing from low levels in the 1950s to very high levels in the 1980s - about twice as high as alcohol consumption in Denmark. Since then, consumption has declined, and current consumption is slightly below alcohol consumption in Denmark, while alcohol prices are far above Danish prices.
Description of historical trends and possible causal connections of alcohol prices, alcohol consumption and alcohol-related mortality in Greenland 1951-2010 as a background for the evaluation of the impact of various types of policy.
Time series for Greenland 1951-2010 for alcohol prices, consumption and mortality are compiled, and variation and correlations are discussed in relation to various policies aimed at limiting alcohol consumption. Corresponding time series for Denmark 1906-2010 are presented for comparison.
The trends in alcohol prices and consumption followed each other rather closely until the 1990s in Greenland and the 1980s in Denmark. At this time, consumption stabilised while prices decreased further, but the effect of prices upon consumption is strong, also in recent years. A trend in Greenlandic mortality similar to consumption is discernible, but not significant. Among alcohol-related deaths cirrhosis of the liver is less prevalent whilst accidents are more prevalent than in Denmark.
The effect of alcohol excise taxes and rationing upon consumption is evident. The stabilisation and subsequent decline in consumption since the mid-1990s, while alcohol prices decreased persistently, does not preclude continued effects of prices. On the contrary, price effects have been neutralised by other stronger causes. Whether these are government anti-alcohol campaigns or a cultural change is not clear.
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The concept of social welfare functions has been discussed in health economic literature, as it provides a way of examining the extent to which society is prepared to accept a trade-off between efficiency and equity. In this paper requirements for meaningful empirical estimates of the willingness to accept lower per capita health status in order to achieve greater equity are examined. Results from a pilot study aimed at testing the proposed measurement procedure are reported. They show that at least two thirds of the politicians who participated are prepared to accept a lower growth in per capita health in exchange for increased equity. Accordingly, we found a weak empirical support for the common health economic assumption that only total health benefit should guide the use of resources.
increasing public costs for the care of the elderly have created fundamental changes that are redefining the basic principles of health care funding. In the past, overall institutional funding was predominantly tied to spending. In view of the limitations of this approach to funding long-term care facilities, case-mix classification tries to take into account the characteristics of the residents as a tool for predicting costs. Recently, a new case-mix classification based on the functional autonomy profile of the residents - ISO-SMAF profile - was developed in the Province of Quebec, Canada. This classification can be used to change the funding system to base it on the functional autonomy characteristics of the residents.
the main objective of this study was to apply the ISO-SMAF classification to funding long-term care facilities in one area of the Province of Quebec and to compare the results of this new funding methodology to the formal methodology.
this study used a cross-sectional design.
the population under study comprised all residents of all 11 long-term care facilities in the Eastern Townships area of Quebec. Each resident was assessed using the Functional Autonomy Measurement System. The theoretical budget was calculated based on the adjusted cost per year associated with each ISO-SMAF profile derived from a previous economic study.
the theoretical budget based on the ISO-SMAF profiles may highlight the under- or over-funding of a facility when compared to the usual funding system based predominantly on the number of beds and hours of care.
the results of this study show the feasibility of applying the new funding approach to long-term care facilities. However, implementation of the ISO-SMAF classification for funding must be supported by continued and computerised residents' medical files including the Functional Autonomy Measurement System.