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Inequality and polarisation in health systems' responsiveness: a cross-country analysis

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JournalJournal of health economics
DatePublished - Jul 2011
Issue number4
Volume30
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)616-625
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The World Health Report 2000 proposed three fundamental goals for health systems encompassing population health, health care finance and health systems responsiveness. The goals incorporate both an efficiency and equity dimension. While inequalities in population health and health care finance have motivated two important strands of research, inequalities in responsiveness have received less attention in health economics. This paper examines inequality and polarisation in responsiveness, bridging this gap in the literature and contributing towards an integrated analysis of health systems performance. It uses data from the World Health Survey to measure and compare inequalities in responsiveness across 25 European countries. In order to respect the inherently ordinal nature of the responsiveness data, median-based measures of inequality and polarisation are employed. The results suggest that, in the face of wide differences in the health systems analysed, there exists large variability in inequality in responsiveness across countries.

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