Is safety safe in the market's hands?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


There is no doubt that the proposal to establish market-based control mechanisms for patient safety is both interesting and intriguing. However, I am not optimistic that Coiera and Braithwaite’s (C&B’s) proposal (see page 99 ) will see the light of day 1. My objections are based on three fundamental flaws that I see in the foundation for this proposal: first, as an economist, I question whether “safety” can be considered a public good in the same way that the environment might; second, I am not convinced that emissions trading has worked sufficiently well to justify basing a safety strategy on such an approach; and, finally, I propose that our healthcare systems have not been particularly effective in managing resources or priority setting, and I make an economist’s attempt at addressing opportunities that still exist in this domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-88
Number of pages2
JournalQuality and Safety in Health Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • patient safety
  • health economics


Dive into the research topics of 'Is safety safe in the market's hands?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this