Regulation versus practice - The impact of accessibility on the use of specialist health care in Norway
AbstractIn Norway specialized health services are provided both by public hospitals and by privately practicing specialists who have a contract with the public sector. Patients’ co-payment is the same irrespective of the type of provider they visit. The ambition of equity in the allocation of medical care is high among all political parties. The instruments for auditing whether these goals are fulfilled are not equally ambitious. The objective of the present study is to explore whether laws and regulations that govern the allocation of specialist health care resources in fact are fulfilled. Panel data from the Survey of Living Conditions are merged with data on capacity and spatial access to primary and specialist care. We find that accessibility and socio-economic variables play a considerable role in determining both the probability of at least one visit and the number of visits to a private specialist. A person with a higher university degree living in a municipality with the highest value of the geographical accessibility index has a 46%-points higher probability of at least one visit to a private specialist compared with a person with junior high living in a municipality with the lowest value of the accessibility index. With regard to visits to a hospital outpatient department these variables are not found to have significant effects. We conclude that public ambitions and regulations are fulfilled for specialist services provided by public hospitals. With regard to the provision of services provided by publicly financed private specialists we find a discrepancy between public goals and surveyed practice.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme in its series HERO On line Working Paper Series with number 2005:2.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: HERO / Institute of Health Management and Health Economics P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 2307 5309
Fax: 2307 5310
Web page: http://www.hero.uio.no/eng.html
More information through EDIRC
specialist health services; utilization; equity; private/public provision; survey data;
Other versions of this item:
- Tor Iversen & Gry Stine Kopperud, 2005. "Regulation versus practice - the impact of accessibility on the use of specialist health care in Norway," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(12), pages 1231-1238.
- H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
- H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-06-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2009-06-03 (Health Economics)
- NEP-IAS-2009-06-03 (Insurance Economics)
- NEP-REG-2009-06-03 (Regulation)
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