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Equity in Health Care Across Five Nations: Summary Findings from an International Health Policy Survey

Country

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom

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Despite all the sophisticated medical technology and advanced procedures available in the United States, Americans with low incomes have a hard time getting health care and often receive low-quality care. The wealthy, on the other hand, enjoy ready access to high-quality care and insurance to help defray the cost.

A common assumption is that access to care is more equitably distributed among income groups in countries that provide universal, publicly funded health insurance than in countries that do not. But does universal health coverage really eliminate disparities among income groups? Findings from The Commonwealth Fund 1998 International Health Policy Survey suggest that countries with universal coverage that require patient user fees and allow a substantial role for private insurance also experience inequities in access to care.

Publication Details

Publication Date: May 1, 2000
Citation:

Equity in Health Care Across Five Nations: Summary Findings from an International Health Policy Survey, Cathy Schoen, Karen Davis, Catherine DesRoches, The Commonwealth Fund, May 2000

Experts

Catherine DesRoches
Executive Director, Open Notes, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
Senior Scholar in Residence, New York Academy of Medicine
Professor Emerita in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health