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Waiting Lists and Patient Selection

  • Barros, Pedro Luis Pita

We develop a model of waiting lists for public hospitals when physicians deliver both private and public treatment. Public treatment is free but rationed, i.e., only cases meeting some medical criteria are admitted for treatment. Private treatment has no waiting time but entails payment of a fee. Both physicians and patients take into account that each patient treated in the private practice schedule reduces the waiting list for public treatment. We show that physicians do not necessarily select the mildest cases from the waiting list. We provide sufficient conditions on the rationing policy under which cream skimming is always partial. We show that, to a large extent, one can by-pass the analysis of doctors' behaviour in the characterization of patient selection.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2519.

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Date of creation: Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2519
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  1. Iversen, Tor, 1993. "A theory of hospital waiting lists," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-71, April.
  2. Feldstein, Martin S, 1970. "The Rising Price of Physicians' Services," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(2), pages 121-33, May.
  3. Iversen, Tor, 1997. "The effect of a private sector on the waiting time in a national health service," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 381-396, August.
  4. Carol Propper, 1995. "The Disutility of Time Spent on the United Kingdom's National Health Service Waiting Lists," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 677-700.
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