PROBABLE ECONOMIC EFFECTS ON HEALTH CARE SERVICES OF THE ELIMINATION OF CLINICAL LICENSURE
Arguments and counter arguments on the issue of clinical licensure for health care providers were examined. One research question is investigated in this examination. This research examined the likely effects on health care services of the elimination of clinical licensure for health care providers?
Strong arguments exist on each side of the issue of clinical licensure. Certainly, health providers are in a conflict of interest situation in an environment characterized by clinical licensure, as provider self-interests cannot help but influence the decisions of licensing authorities. Conversely, while the argument that consumers should assume greater responsibility for their own health is valid, the sad fact is that a large proportion of consumers would fall prey to quacks and other frauds in a health care services environment that was completely devoid of clinical licensure.
This research examines the arguments and counter arguments on the issue of clinical licensure for health care providers. Professor Milton Friedman (1992) has received a great deal of attention for his position favoring an end to clinical licensure; however, he was neither the first to advocate the position, he has not been the last to advocate this position, and he certainly has not mounted the strongest economic argument for eliminating clinical licensure for health care providers. In fact, Friedman's (1992) arguments on the issue frequently are more philosophical in character (emphasizing liberty and free choice) than economic. Friedman's (1992) position, however, may be closely related to the economic concept of moral hazard. Friedman first addressed this issue in 1945 in Income from independent professional practice, which was co-authored by Simon Kuznets. A later essay on the issue was written by Friedman in the 1970s, and was included in a compilation o...