The health sector is a complex field which is characterized by a variety of political, cultural, and socio-economic transformation processes. This study will examine the commodification of healthcare. When healthcare is viewed as an economic venture rather than a humanist one, the primary and secondary interests are swapped: instead of the health of the patient being the ultimate goal, financial revenues are, often to the detriment of patient care. Even if the ethics of the medical profession remain in the foreground, doctors and medical staff increasingly have to concentrate on the financial aspect of their care. The focus of this dissertation is on the chief medical officers of public or partially privatized hospitals. The following questions will be considered: How do the head physicians reconcile the economic requirements of the hospitals with their ethical values? What strategies have they developed to do so? Do they see the increase in economic control instruments as a challenge or a threat to their profession?
This dissertation will attempt to answer these questions in a three-step process. First, in the theoretical section I will address the question of how the medical profession has changed. Next, I will examine the commodification phenomenon healthcare and hospitals have been subjected to. Within the framework of these theoretical approaches, I will determine whether the phenomenon of "economization" is seen as primarily productive or obstructive to the medical profession. It will concentrate more on public hospitals, because these are directly affected by the loss of taxpayer money, which can lead to the partial privatization of formerly public hospitals.