Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Equity versus efficiency: a dilemma for the NHS

By Franco Sassi, Julian Le Grand and Luke Archard


Concerns about equitable provision and financing of health care have characterised the NHS since its foundation. Evidence of persisting and, in some cases, widening health inequalities, gathered since the publication of the Black report,1 has progressively raised equity to a high rank among health policy objectives.2 Though the general aim of reducing health inequalities appears uncontroversial, the practical notions of equity that should inform policy and the ways in which these should be implemented are far from clear. Even more importantly, there is no consensus on how to deal with policies that may cause a conflict between the goals of equity and efficiency---that is, those that may improve efficiency while increasing health inequalities or improve fairness while decreasing efficiency. The equity versus efficiency dilemma3 has been virtually ignored in the political debate, often leading to inconsistent judgments in the development of health policies

Topics: RA Public aspects of medicine
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1136/bmj.323.7316.762
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.