Public and Private Health Insurance and the Utilisation of Health Care in Spain

  • Pilar García Gómez /
  • Angel López Nicolás
Book Series re
Research on Economic Inequality
  • Volumen: 15
  • Fecha: 17 April 2007
  • Páginas: 169-195
  • ISSN: 10492585
  • ISBN: 0762314508
  • Source Type: Book Series
  • DOI: 10.1016/S1049-2585(07)15008-0
  • Document Type: Review
This paper reports an analysis of the evolution of equity in the utilisation of health care in Spain over the period 1987-2001, a time span covering the development of the modern Spanish National Health System. Our measures of utilisation are the probabilities of visiting a doctor, using emergency services and being hospitalised. For these three measures, we obtain indices of horizontal inequity from microeconometric models of utilisation that exploit the individual information in the Spanish National Health Surveys of 1987 and 2001. We find that by 2001, the system had improved insofar as differences in income no longer lead to differences in utilisation given the same level of need. However, tenure of private health insurance leads to differences in utilisation given the same level of need, and its contribution to inequity has increased over time, both because insurance is more concentrated among the rich and because the elasticity of utilisation for the three services has also increased. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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