The main function of healthcare systems—wherever they are in the world—is to promote health among the country's citizens. In designing and operating any system, healthcare leaders aim to satisfy three leading requirements: Ensuring that all people have adequate access to the benefits of health care, making certain that the system delivers care of consistently high quality, and achieving all this at a sustainable level of cost.
These three objectives raise a host of complex questions. What constitutes adequate access and quality care? What is sustainable cost? To what extent should market forces be allowed to play a role in managing healthcare costs, quality, and service? Going back a step, shouldn't healthcare systems shift their current focus on caring for the sick to a more holistic effort to maintain citizens' health?
The answers to all those questions vary widely, depending on the historical, political, and social context of each national system. But sufficient commonality may exist to construct a universal analytical framework that can help leaders identify reform priorities and then design and implement them effectively.
By focusing on seven key principles that health care intermediaries can use to affect demand and supply of health care goods and services, MGI provides such a framework.