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The abolition of user charges and the demand for ambulatory visits: evidence from the Czech Republic

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Listed:
  • Jana Votapkova

    () (Charles University)

  • Pavlina Zilova

    () (Charles University)

Abstract

Abstract This paper estimates the effect of the abolition of user charges for children’s outpatient care (30 CZK/1.2 EUR) in 2009 on the demand for ambulatory doctor visits in the Czech Republic. Because the reform applied only to children, we can employ the difference-in-differences approach, where children constitute a treatment group and adults serve as a control group. The dataset covers 1841 observations. Aside from the treatment effect, we control for a number of personal characteristics using micro-level data (European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions). Using the zero-inflated negative binomial model, we found no significant effect from the abolition of user charges on doctor visits, suggesting either that user charges are ineffective in the Czech environment or that their value was set too low. On the contrary, personal income, the number of household members and gender have a significant effect. A number of robustness checks using restricted samples confirm the results.

Suggested Citation

  • Jana Votapkova & Pavlina Zilova, 2016. "The abolition of user charges and the demand for ambulatory visits: evidence from the Czech Republic," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-11, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:hecrev:v:6:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1186_s13561-016-0105-7
    DOI: 10.1186/s13561-016-0105-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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