Accounting and the ‘insoluble’ problem of health-care costs

Florian Gebreiter, Laurence Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
112 Downloads (Pure)


Health service accounting reforms are frequently promoted, explained or justified with reference to aging populations, expensive medical technologies and their purported implications for the cost of health care. Drawing on Foucault’s genealogical method, we examine the emergence of concerns regarding health expenditure in the wake of the creation of the British National Health Service in 1948, and their relationship with health service accounting practices. We argue that concerns regarding the cost of health care are historically contingent rather than inescapable consequences of demographic and technological change, and that health service accounting practices are both constitutive and reflective of such concerns. We conclude by relating our analysis to current attempts to control costs and increase efficiency in the health services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719–733
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Accounting Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Accounting and the ‘insoluble’ problem of health-care costs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this