Vertical Equity in Health Care Resource Allocation

Health Care Analysis 8 (3):203-215 (2000)
Abstract
This paper introduces this mini-series on verticalequity in health care. It reflects on the fact that byand large equity policies in health care have failedand that there is a need for positive discriminationto promote equity better in future. This positivediscrimination is examined under the heading of`vertical equity'.The paper considers Varian's notion of `envy' as abasis for equity in health care but concludes thatthis is not a helpful route to go down. Better itwould seem to pursue the idea from Sen of `freedoms'and `communitarian claims' (as raised previously bythis author). While it is argued that proceduraljustice is to be preferred in the longer run as abasis for equity there are gains in adopting a shortrun goal of promoting distributive justice. Somepreliminary evidence is presented on the weighting ofhealth gains to reflect such vertical equityconcerns
Keywords distributive justice  envy  health care  procedural justice  resource allocation  vertical equity
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