Event Title

The Relationship Between the Structure of the Healthcare System and Health Inequalities: A Comparative Analysis of 21 Developed Countries

Presenter Information

Diana Rivera

Mentor 1

Mustafa Hussein

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

According to the World Health Organization, a health system is itself a social determinant of health. In other words, a health system can mold health differences within a population depending on its organizational structure in regards to the degree of public or private intervention. When there is a higher degree of public intervention, the health system structure tends to implement mechanisms that ensure a more egalitarian access to healthcare services e.g. universal access and financial protection to groups with lower socioeconomics. When there is a higher degree of private intervention, the health system tends to implement market-based solutions. This intervention requires that most individuals finance their healthcare services by purchasing private health insurance plans which can be unaffordable to certain groups. Thus, the implementation of different mechanisms influenced by the health system structure can mitigate health inequalities between the more disadvantaged groups. However, evidence that addresses if the type of health system structure can be a driver for health inequalities remains scarce. Therefore, the purpose of this research project is to find the relationship between the health system structure and health inequalities by income. Addressing this question can contribute to the improvement of the health systems across different countries and develop mechanisms that can mitigate health inequalities among different social classes. The plausible health system types according to Bohm et al are National Health Services (NHS), National Health Insurance (NHI), Social Health Insurance (SHI), Etatist Social Health Insurance (ESHI), and Private Health Insurance. Inequalities in health status were measured by income tertile (low/medium/high) and the health status was self-reported on a scale from 1 (poor) to 5(excellent). The data was retrieved from the International Social Survey Program’s 2011 for 21 OECD developed countries. Our results show larger health inequalities by income in the Private Health Insurance, gradually decreasing to the NHS, ESHI, SHI, and NHI. Except for the NHS, the results show a tendency for smaller health inequalities when there is a higher public involvement in healthcare regulation and financing. Further research concerning the effects of the health systems engendering health inequalities and addressing the NHS’s particularity will be needed.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

The Relationship Between the Structure of the Healthcare System and Health Inequalities: A Comparative Analysis of 21 Developed Countries

Union Wisconsin Room

According to the World Health Organization, a health system is itself a social determinant of health. In other words, a health system can mold health differences within a population depending on its organizational structure in regards to the degree of public or private intervention. When there is a higher degree of public intervention, the health system structure tends to implement mechanisms that ensure a more egalitarian access to healthcare services e.g. universal access and financial protection to groups with lower socioeconomics. When there is a higher degree of private intervention, the health system tends to implement market-based solutions. This intervention requires that most individuals finance their healthcare services by purchasing private health insurance plans which can be unaffordable to certain groups. Thus, the implementation of different mechanisms influenced by the health system structure can mitigate health inequalities between the more disadvantaged groups. However, evidence that addresses if the type of health system structure can be a driver for health inequalities remains scarce. Therefore, the purpose of this research project is to find the relationship between the health system structure and health inequalities by income. Addressing this question can contribute to the improvement of the health systems across different countries and develop mechanisms that can mitigate health inequalities among different social classes. The plausible health system types according to Bohm et al are National Health Services (NHS), National Health Insurance (NHI), Social Health Insurance (SHI), Etatist Social Health Insurance (ESHI), and Private Health Insurance. Inequalities in health status were measured by income tertile (low/medium/high) and the health status was self-reported on a scale from 1 (poor) to 5(excellent). The data was retrieved from the International Social Survey Program’s 2011 for 21 OECD developed countries. Our results show larger health inequalities by income in the Private Health Insurance, gradually decreasing to the NHS, ESHI, SHI, and NHI. Except for the NHS, the results show a tendency for smaller health inequalities when there is a higher public involvement in healthcare regulation and financing. Further research concerning the effects of the health systems engendering health inequalities and addressing the NHS’s particularity will be needed.