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Physicians' views on resource availability and equity in four European health care systems
JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift)
ID 4607149
Author(s) Hurst, Samia A.; Forde, Reidun; Reiter-Theil, Stella; Slowther, Anne-Marie; Perrier, Arnaud; Pegoraro, Renzo; Danis, Marion
Author(s) at UniBasel Reiter-Theil, Stella
Hurst, Samia
Year 2007
Title Physicians' views on resource availability and equity in four European health care systems
Journal BMC Health Services Research
Volume 7
Pages / Article-Number 137
Mesh terms Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Attitude of Health Personnel; Cost Control, statistics & numerical data; Cross-Cultural Comparison; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Health Care Rationing, statistics & numerical data; Health Care Surveys; Humans; Italy; Male; Middle Aged; Norway; Professional Practice, statistics & numerical data; Social Perception; Switzerland; United Kingdom
Abstract In response to limited resources, health care systems have adopted diverse cost-containment strategies and give priority to differing types of interventions. The perception of physicians, who witness the effects of these strategies, may provide useful insights regarding the impact of system-wide priority setting on access to care. We conducted a cross-sectional survey to ascertain generalist physicians' perspectives on resources allocation and its consequences in Norway, Switzerland, Italy and the UK. Survey respondents (N = 656, response rate 43%) ranged in age from 28–82, and averaged 25 years in practice. Most respondents (87.7%) perceived some resources as scarce, with the most restrictive being: access to nursing home, mental health services, referral to a specialist, and rehabilitation for stroke. Respondents attributed adverse outcomes to scarcity, and some respondents had encountered severe adverse events such as death or permanent disability. Despite universal coverage, 45.6% of respondents reported instances of underinsurance. Most respondents (78.7%) also reported some patient groups as more likely than others to be denied beneficial care on the basis of cost. Almost all respondents (97.3%) found at least one cost-containment policy acceptable. The types of policies preferred suggest that respondents are willing to participate in cost-containment, and do not want to be guided by administrative rules (11.2%) or restrictions on hospital beds (10.7%). Physician reports can provide an indication of how organizational factors may affect availability and equity of health care services. Physicians are willing to participate in cost-containment decisions, rather than be guided by administrative rules. Tools should be developed to enable physicians, who are in a unique position to observe unequal access or discrimination in their health care environment, to address these issues in a more targeted way.
Publisher BioMed Central
ISSN/ISBN 1472-6963
Full Text on edoc No
Digital Object Identifier DOI 10.1186/1472-6963-7-137
PubMed ID
ISI-Number WOS:000250054100001
Document type (ISI) Journal Article

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