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Article

Financing Healthcare in Central and Eastern European Countries: How Far Are We from Universal Health Coverage?

1
Department of Health Economics and Social Security, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 31-008 Krakow, Poland
2
Department of Public Management, Cracow University of Economics, 31-510 Krakow, Poland
3
Department of Health Policy and Management, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 31-008 Krakow, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1382; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041382
Received: 10 December 2020 / Revised: 25 January 2021 / Accepted: 29 January 2021 / Published: 3 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequalities in Health Care)
After the fall of communism, the healthcare systems of Central and Eastern European countries underwent enormous transformation, resulting in departure from publicly financed healthcare. This had significant adverse effects on equity in healthcare, which are still evident. In this paper, we analyzed the role of government and households in financing healthcare in eight countries (EU-8): Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. A desk research method was applied to collect quantitative data on healthcare expenditures and qualitative data on gaps in universal health coverage. A linear regression analysis was used to analyze a trend in health expenditure over the years 2000–2018. Our results indicate that a high reliance on out-of-pocket payments persists in many EU-8 countries, and only a few countries have shown a significant downward trend over time. The gaps in universal coverage in the EU-8 countries are due to explicit rationing (a limited benefit package, patient cost sharing) and implicit mechanisms (wait times). There is need to increase the role of public financing in CEE countries through budget prioritization, reducing patient co-payments for medical products and medicines, and extending the benefit package for these goods, as well as improving the quality of care. View Full-Text
Keywords: healthcare financing; universal health coverage; Central and Eastern European countries healthcare financing; universal health coverage; Central and Eastern European countries
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tambor, M.; Klich, J.; Domagała, A. Financing Healthcare in Central and Eastern European Countries: How Far Are We from Universal Health Coverage? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1382. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041382

AMA Style

Tambor M, Klich J, Domagała A. Financing Healthcare in Central and Eastern European Countries: How Far Are We from Universal Health Coverage? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(4):1382. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041382

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tambor, Marzena, Jacek Klich, and Alicja Domagała. 2021. "Financing Healthcare in Central and Eastern European Countries: How Far Are We from Universal Health Coverage?" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 4: 1382. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041382

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