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Towards a more comprehensive view on patient payments in Lithuania: New findings from a population survey


  • Liuba Murauskiene

    () (Public Enterprise “MTVC” (Training, Research and Development Centre) Vilnius Lithuania)

  • Milena Pavlova

    (Maastricht University Department of Health Services Research; CAPHRI, Maastricht University Medical Center, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences Maastricht The Netherlands)

  • Marija Veniute

    (Public Enterprise “MTVC” (Training, Research and Development Centre) Vilnius Lithuania)

  • Wim Groot

    (Maastricht University Department of Health Services Research; CAPHRI, Maastricht University Medical Center, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences Maastricht The Netherlands
    Maastricht University Topinstitute Evidence-Based Education Research (TIER) Maastricht The Netherlands)


Patient payments have not been studied systematically in Lithuania. This limits the use of empirical evidence in policy making. More systematic and detailed evidence on the patient payments phenomena in Lithuania are needed to clarify who is seeking and paying for health care services, why, and how. This paper presents the main findings from a quantitative representative population survey on patient payments in Lithuania. The study results confirm the significant scope of the patient payment practices as well as the complexity of the issue. Overall attitudes towards informal cash payments are negative but there is a rather tolerant view on gifts-in-kind. In case of health problems, access to proper (good quality) treatment is crucial. When treatment is needed, Lithuanian patients are ready to pay irrespective of the legitimacy of the payments and despite of the significant financial burden that these payments may cause. Priorities for the quality of care and the protection of vulnerable groups against financial risks are important and should be addressed when discussing the design of patient payment policies in Lithuania. The lack of a transparent political and organizational arrangements and the failure to communicate properly with the general public are the main challenges for future policy

Suggested Citation

  • Liuba Murauskiene & Milena Pavlova & Marija Veniute & Wim Groot, 2012. "Towards a more comprehensive view on patient payments in Lithuania: New findings from a population survey," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 34(2), pages 241-251, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:34:y:2012:i:2:p:241-251
    Note: The study is financed by the European Commission under FP7 Theme 8 Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities, Project ASSPRO CEE 2007 (GA no. 217431). The content of the publication is the sole responsibility of the authors and it in no way represents the views of the Commission or its services.

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    patient payments; health reforms; Lithuania;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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