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Is the British National Health Service equitable?: the evidence on socioeconomic differences in utilization

By Anna Dixon, Julian Le Grand, John Henderson, Richard Murray and Emmi Poteliakhoff


Is the British National Health Service (NHS) equitable? This paper considers one part of the answer to this: the utilization of the NHS by different socioeconomic groups (SEGs). It reviews recent evidence from studies on NHS utilization as a whole based on household surveys (macro-studies) and from studies of the utilization of particular services in particular areas (micro-studies). The principal conclusion from the majority of these studies is that, while the distribution of use of general practitioners (GPs) is broadly equitable, that for specialist treatment is pro-rich. Recent micro-studies of cardiac surgery, elective surgery, cancer care, preventive care and chronic care support the findings of an earlier review that use of services was higher relative to need among higher SEGs

Topics: HC Economic History and Conditions, HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform, RA Public aspects of medicine
Publisher: Royal Society of Medicine Press
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1258/135581907780279549
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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