International comparison of cost sharing in health care

The OECD has produced a nice online tool for comparing health and healthcare systems between countries.

The table below is reproduced in The cost of our health: the role of charging in healthcare by Thomas Cawston and Cathy Corrie November 2013 which argues that charging for visits to GPs is the way to solve the problems of the NHS.  They produce a lot of interesting facts, but their argument is fundamentally very weak.  Charging for primary care will deter the poor – who generally don’t use primary care enough – and encourage the better off,  who will have a greater sense of entitlement if they pay.  It’s long been the case that poor people are more likely to come into hospital via the casualty department. Richer people come in through Out-patients.

Cost sharing in Health  OECD countries

 Source:  Deveaux, M. et al. (2010), Health System Institutional Characteristics: A survey of 29 OECD Countries,  OECD Health Data 2013.