Accountability for the fair provision of access to and quality of services in healthcare is complex and demanding, in large part because of the nature of health need and the social meaning of healthcare. Failure of progress on this issue is related to a lack of clarity about the locus, meaning and scope of accountability. Without such clarity the term runs the risk of becoming useless or dangerous. Ethically, the key lies in understanding the profoundly value-laden nature of both healthcare and public policy.
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