By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

Need, demand, supply in health care: working definitions, and their implications for defining access

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Publication details

JournalHealth Economics, Policy and Law
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Aug 2021
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 12 Oct 2021
Number of pages13
Early online date12/10/21
Original languageEnglish


Effective policymaking in healthcare systems begins with a clear typology
of the terminology – need, demand, supply and access to care – and
their interrelationships. However, the terms are contested and their
meaning is rarely stated explicitly.
This paper offers working definitions of need, demand, and supply. We
draw on the international literature and use a Venn diagram to explain
the terms. We then define access to care, reviewing alternative and
competing definitions from the literature. We conclude by discussing
potential applications of our conceptual framework to help to understand
the interrelationships and trade-offs between need, demand, supply and
access in health care.

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s), 2021

    Research areas

  • Health Services Needs and Demand, Health Services Accessibility


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