Corporatization and Privatization of Health Care Services: Origins and Rise of a Controversial Concept

K.L. Phua, PhD
Community Medicine Section
International Medical University
Sesama Centre
Plaza Komanwel, Bukit Jalil
57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Summary: The Government of Malaysia has been implementing its policy of corporatization and privatization of public services (including social services such as health). In this article, the concept of privatization of public services is traced back to the crisis of the welfare state in Britain and America and the influence of intellectuals and think tanks that favour free market policies and abhor government intervention in economic affairs. The growth in influence of this concept illustrates the impact that intellectuals can have when their ideas fall on the ears of sympathetic politicians and political movements under certain socioeconomic climates.

Key Words: corporatization and privatization, crisis of the welfare state, free market-oriented intellectuals and think tanks