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Diversity and regional inequalities: Assessing the outcomes of the Spanish 'System of Health Care Services'
López, Guillem; Costa-Font, Joan; Planas, Ivan
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
The consolidation of a universal health system coupled with a process of regionaldevolution characterise the institutional reforms of the National Health System(NHS) in Spain in the last two decades. However, scarce empirical evidence hasbeen reported on the effects of both changes in health inputs, outputs andoutcomes, both at the country and at the regional level. This paper examinesthe empirical evidence on regional diversity, efficiency and inequality ofthese changes in the Spanish NHS using cross-correlation, panel data andexpenditure decomposition analysis. Results suggest that besides significantheterogeneity, once we take into account region-specific needs there is evidenceof efficiency improvements whilst inequalities in inputs and outcomes, althoughmore visible , do not appear to have increased in the last decade. Therefore,the devolution process in the Spanish Health System offers an interesting casefor the experimentation of health reforms related to regional diversity butcompatible with the nature of a public NHS, with no sizeable regionalinequalitiest.
15-09-2005
Labour, Public, Development and Health Economics
health expenditure
devolution
national health system
regional inequalities
spain
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