Equity during an economic crisis: Financing of the Argentine health system
This article analyses the redistributive effect caused by health financing and the distribution of healthcare utilization in Argentina before and during the severe 2001/2002 economic crisis. Both dramatically changed during this period: the redistributive effect became much more positive and utilization shifted from pro-poor to pro-rich. This clearly demonstrates that when utilization is contingent on financing, changes can occur rapidly; and that an integrated approach is required when monitoring equity. From a policy perspective, the Argentine health system appears vulnerable to economic downturns mainly due to high reliance on out-of-pocket payments and the strong link between health insurance and employment.
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