Investing in Health: Resource Allocation and National Advancement

Yaw-Tang Shih, Sheu-Wen Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resource allocation towards health and health care has recently become a crucial policy agenda in Taiwan, just as in other countries facing increasing health expenditures. However, most of the issues surrounding resource allocation have centred on the resources within the health and health care systems alone, without considering investment in health from a national perspective. By only focusing on the health and health care systems, we are likely to ignore the complex determinants of health, the importance of resource integration and reallocation, and the coordination required of our nation to improve the health of its population.Health is a human right, and health promotion and health care are essential investments for any nation. The government must endeavour to accomplish the best return on resource investment for its people. This paper intends to provide a conceptual framework facilitating the understanding of the association between health and national advancement mediated through resource allocation. It first justifies the current trend of using indicators to measure social welfare, followed by describing the health system from a conceptual viewpoint, and a discussion of the relationships between health investment and national advancement, taking the Taiwanese health system as an example. The paper then suggests four directions and major strategies for health care system reform in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-205
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Health System
  • National Health Insurance
  • Resource Allocation
  • Health Investment
  • Gross National Happiness


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