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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

URBANOS, Rosa M.. The impact of healthcare financing on health inequalities. Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, suppl.1, pp. 90-95. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112004000700015.

This article summarizes the impact of health care financing instruments on inequalities of supply, access and use of health care services. Firstly, the new scheme of regional and health care financing, apart from the initial gains in terms of equity and sufficiency, introduces uncertainty about the volume of resources that will be devoted to health care facilities by the regions. This fact may cause some inter-territorial inequalities in the health care supply and the access to public services. The Health Care Cohesion Fund, which was designed to guarantee equality of access to the National Health Service, is not the optimal instrument to achieve such an ambitious goal. Secondly, the change in composition of health care financing sources, by increasing the burden of indirect taxes, may imply some losses of vertical equity or progressiveness. Finally, this paper analyses the possible impact that the present allocation of public health funds, excessively biased to specialised health care, may have on inequalities in the use of health care facilities.

Keywords : Health care financing; Inequality of access; Vertical equity.

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