Rationing of Medical Services in Europe: An Empirical Study


Graf Von Der Schulenburg, J.M.

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Healthcare regulations should guarantee that everybody has access to appropriate healthcare. The main goals for healthcare are: Equal access to healthcare for everyone; Cost-efficient production of health services and Cost-control of public expenditure for medical services. Especially cost-control seems to be a global problem. One of the key issues in the debate on how to improve healthcare is rationing. It is an important challenge to understand the various methods of rationing in medical care, to analyse the effects of rationing and the ways to harmonize the various rationing cultures in Europe. This publication gives a comprehensive overview of the perception of different population groups in an international context and it shows how the different population and occupational groups estimate the possibilities, forms and also limits rationing in the near future. Patients who are affected by rationing decisions could ask for treatment in foreign European countries. In order to limit social inequities caused by capacity problems in less rationed countries it is important in a first step to demonstrate the differences in rationing procedures between European countries.