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Diversity and regional inequalities in the Spanish system of health care services

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The consolidation of a universal health system coupled with a process of regional devolution characterise the institutional reforms of the National Health System (NHS) in Spain in the last two decades. However, scarce empirical evidence has been reported on the effects of changes in health inputs, outputs and outcomes, both at the country and at the regional level. This paper examines health care reform in Spain along with empirical evidence on regional diversity, efficiency and inequality of these changes in the Spanish NHS. Results suggest that besides significant heterogeneity, once region-specific needs are taken into account, there is evidence of efficiency improvements whilst inequalities in inputs and outcomes, although more visible, do not appear to have increased in the last decade. Therefore, the devolution process in the Spanish Health System offers an interesting case for the experimentation of health reforms related to regional diversity but compatible with the nature of a public NHS, with no sizeable regional inequalities.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19413/

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