Show Less

Distributing medical resources

An application of cooperative bargaining theory to an allocation problem in medicine


Antje Köckeritz

Allocating scarce medical resources has become an important topic in public discussion. In the German statutory health system we are facing a situation of lacking adequate funds for all needs. The financial restrictions force us to use resources wisely. This emphasizes the need of general allocation rules and criteria applied in medical allocation situations. The purpose of this work is to implement and interpret properties of cooperative bargaining theory to special allocation situations in medicine. The author shows how the concepts of Nash and Kalai/Smorodinsky can be applied to a medical allocation problem and discusses implications of their properties and solutions for the German health system.


Show Summary Details
Restricted access

4 A cooperative bargaining model with two patients groups, their individual needs and different group size


4.1 Introduction The model in this chapter is an adapted version of the model in the previous chapter. Again, we draw upon a dilemma situation in allocating medical resources to patients. The well-known Parfit-Taurek discussion (e.g. in Lübbe (2004)) is about saving the life of 5 individuals versus the life of 1 with the same amount of medicine. Ahlert (2009) and generalizes Taurek’s example in health economics and defines an allocation problem with a finite number of patients who each have an individual need. The total amount of the medical good does not suffice to fulfill all needs. This chapter considers this type of model and defines and analyzes solutions to such allocation situations. In analogy to the previous chapter we apply cooperative bargaining theory and characterize allocation mechanisms by their normative properties. Finding solutions to the described allocation problem, one may consider different solution concepts. Ahlert (2006) and Ahlert (2009) define a random solution mechanism for such an allocation problem. A second approach considers allocating medical resources according to a priority list as proposed by Ahlert (2005) and Zimmermann (2009). Finally, we continue the discussion from the previous chapter by applying a cooperative bargaining approach to the allocation problem. In contrast to the first paper, we now consider a model with two groups and that each has more than one patient. In addition, we model a situation of distributing medical resources to patients while disregarding success probabilities. In analogy, we model an allocation problem as a bargaining problem...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.