Equity Aspects of Patient Choice
Equity Aspects of Patient Choice in Primary Care in Stockholm County Council: Impact on need-based resource allocation, primary care doctors and health care utilization in disadvantaged areas
Health care reform is currently occurring in many European countries with a goal of improving the efficiency of the health care systems and responding to patients’ wishes. However, it is unknown if the changes being implemented are having unintended effects on other components of the health system, particularly on equity. A change in primary care provider selection was made in Sweden in 2010, allowing patients to select whomever they wished; the reform also affected primary care providers and their work situation.
This project now has the opportunity to assess the impact of the reform on equity, reception by primary care providers, and on the allocation of resources for primary care and utilization of services between socioeconomic groups and areas in the Swedish setting. Overall, it will aim to contribute to knowledge on how to make primary care services better meet the needs of the patients and populations they serve, and to reducing inequalities in health.
To perform the assessment, the focus will be on four areas of work: (i) changes in allocation of resources to primary care over time between different socioeconomic groups and geographic areas, (ii) perceptions of primary care doctors regarding their ability to provide equitable care before and after the reform, and (iii) change in patterns of utilization over time of health care in different socioeconomic groups.
Uppsala University, University of Liverpool