Socioeconomic inequality of access to healthcare: Does patients’ choice explain the gradient?Evidence from the English NHS

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


Equity of access is a key policy objective in publicly-funded healthcare systems. Using data on patients undergoing non-emergency heart revascularization procedures in the English National Health Service, we find evidence of significant differences in waiting times within public hospitals between patients with different socioeconomic status (up to 35% difference between the most and least deprived population quintiles). We employ selection models to test whether such differences are explained by patients exercising choice over hospital or type of treatment. Selection bias due to choice has a limited effect on the gradient suggesting the presence of substantial inequities within the public system.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork, UK
PublisherCentre for Health Economics, University of York
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Publication series

NameCHE Research Paper
PublisherCentre for Health Economics, University of York


  • waiting times
  • inequalities
  • socioeconomic status
  • selection bias
  • choice

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