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Int J Health Plann Manage. 2003 Oct-Dec;18(4):343-61.

The importance of quality, access and price to health care consumers in Bulgaria: a self-explicated approach.

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Department of Health Organization, Policy and Economics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Maastricht, The Netherlands.


One approach to the problem of low patient satisfaction in Bulgaria is to identify attributes of health care services that the consumers value most and to focus on their improvement. Based on data from a household survey, this paper examines the importance that health care consumers attach to quality, access and price. The survey was conducted in 2000 among the population of the region of Varna (the third largest city in Bulgaria). The elicitation of attribute importance was based on a self-explicated method. To analyse the data, an ordered logit regression was performed. The analysis shows that clinical quality is the most valued characteristic by Bulgarian health care consumers compared with social quality, access and price. Given the poor quality of health care provision in Bulgaria, the allocation of revenues to its improvement appears to be essential in order to raise patient satisfaction and to enhance social efficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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