Constructing health consumers: Private health insurance discourses in Australia and the United Kingdom

Harley, Kirsten and Willis, Karen and Gabe, Jonathan and Short, Stephanie Doris and Collyer, Fran and Natalier, Kristin and Calnan, Michael .W. (2011) Constructing health consumers: Private health insurance discourses in Australia and the United Kingdom. Health Sociology Review, 20 (3). pp. 306-320. ISSN 1446-1242. (doi:https://doi.org/10.5172/hesr.2011.20.3.306) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.5172/hesr.2011.20.3.306

Abstract

Significant transformations of the health care services sector over the past three decades have seen an increasing reliance on the private provision of health care services mediated through private health insurance. In countries such as Australia and the UK, private health insurance is promoted as providing a greater choice for individuals and easing the burden on the public system. While these claims, the policy contexts and the decision-making processes of individual consumers have attracted some sociological attention, little has been said about the role of private insurers. In this article we present a comparative analysis of the websites of private health insurers in Australia and the UK. Our analysis highlights adoption by private health insurers of neoliberal discourses of choice and individual responsibility, partnership and healthy lifestyles. In these respects, similarities between the discourses over-ride national differences which might otherwise be expected given their contrasting health care traditions and contexts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Choice, Discourse analysis, Lifestyle, Partnership, Private health insurance, Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2014 12:40 UTC
Last Modified: 13 May 2014 15:49 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/38679 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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