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J Health Econ. 2010 Jul;29(4):479-88. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2010.03.008. Epub 2010 Apr 2.

Equity during an economic crisis: financing of the Argentine health system.

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World Health Organization, Department of Health Systems Financing, Geneva, Switzerland.


This article analyses the redistributive effect caused by health financing and the distribution of healthcare utilization in Argentina before and during the severe 2001/2002 economic crisis. Both dramatically changed during this period: the redistributive effect became much more positive and utilization shifted from pro-poor to pro-rich. This clearly demonstrates that when utilization is contingent on financing, changes can occur rapidly; and that an integrated approach is required when monitoring equity. From a policy perspective, the Argentine health system appears vulnerable to economic downturns mainly due to high reliance on out-of-pocket payments and the strong link between health insurance and employment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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