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Measuring and decomposing socioeconomic inequality in healthcare delivery: A microsimulation approach with application to the Palestinian conflict-affected fragile setting

Mohammad Abu-Zaineh (), Awad Mataria (), Jean-Paul Moatti and Bruno Ventelou

Social Science & Medicine, 2011, vol. 72, issue 2, 133-141

Abstract: Socioeconomic-related inequalities in healthcare delivery have been extensively studied in developed countries, using standard linear models of decomposition. This paper seeks to assess equity in healthcare delivery in the particular context of the occupied Palestinian territory: the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, using a new method of decomposition based on microsimulations. Besides avoiding the 'unavoidable price' of linearity restriction that is imposed by the standard methods of decomposition, the microsimulation-based decomposition enables to circumvent the potentially contentious role of heterogeneity in behaviours and to better disentangle the various sources driving inequality in healthcare utilisation. Results suggest that the worse-off do have a disproportinately greater need for all levels of care. However with the exception of primary-level, utilisation of all levels of care appears to be significantly higher for the better-off. The microsimulation method has made it possible to identify the contributions of factors driving such pro-rich patterns. While much of the inequality in utilisation appears to be caused by the prevailing socioeconomic inequalities, detailed analysis attributes a non-trivial part (circa 30% of inequalities) to heterogeneity in healthcare-seeking behaviours across socioeconomic groups of the population. Several policy recommendations for improving equity in healthcare delivery in the occupied Palestinian territory are proposed.

Keywords: Healthcare; utilisation; Two-part; models; Microsimulation; Concentration; index; Horizontal; equity; Developing; countries; Occupied; Palestinian; territory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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