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Socioeconomic status and waiting times for health services: An international literature review and evidence from the Italian National Health System

Stefano Landi, Enrico Ivaldi () and Angela Testi

Health Policy, 2018, vol. 122, issue 4, 334-351

Abstract: In the absence of priority criteria, waiting times are an implicit rationing instrument where the absence or limited use of prices creates an excess of demand. Even in the presence of priority criteria, waiting times may be unfair because they reduce health care demand of patients in lower socio-economic conditions due to high opportunity costs of time or a decay in their health level. Significant evidence has shown a relationship between socioeconomic status and the length of waiting time.

Keywords: Waiting time; Waiting list; Socioeconomic status; Equity; National health system; Deprivation index; Health care service; Elective surgeries; Specialist visits; Classification trees (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:122:y:2018:i:4:p:334-351