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Gac Sanit. 2016 Nov;30 Suppl 1:25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2016.01.012. Epub 2016 Mar 20.

[Inequality in access to health care services. Policy recommendations aimed at achieving equity].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Economía Aplicada VI, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, España. Electronic address:


This article reveals the presence of inequalities in access to health care that may be considered unfair and avoidable. These inequalities are related to coverage of clinical needs, to the financial problems faced by families in completing medical treatments, or to disparities in waiting times and the use of services for equal need. A substantial proportion of inequalities appears to have increased as a result of the measures adopted to face the economic crisis. The recommendations aimed at improving equity affect different pillars of the taxpayer-funded health system, including, among others, the definition of the right to public health care coverage, the formulas of cost-sharing, the distribution of powers between primary and specialty care, the reforms of clinical management, and the production and dissemination of information to facilitate the decision-making processes of health authorities, professionals and citizens. Moreover, it is recommended to focus on particularly vulnerable population groups.


Acceso a la atención sanitaria; Access to health care; Desigualdad; Equidad; Equity; Inequality

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