This article argues that while health care and government authorities in the Netherlands in the last decades have attempted to rationalize the diffusion of medical technology, much work remains to be done. The authors contend that though a mix of direct government regulation and economic incentives will be needed, regulation by incentive is more effective than regulation by directive in achieving cost effective use of technology. Generally, bureaucratic structures provide only limited opportunities for tight control of the diffusion of medical technologies. The article offers possible future strategies for directing the adoption and use of medical technologies and stresses the importance of reliable infor mation culled from comprehensive technology assessments.
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