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Title: The fallacy of the equity-efficiency trade off: Rethinking the efficient health system
Authors: Reidpath, DD
Olafsdottir, AE
Pokhrel, S
Allotey, P
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: BMC Public Health, 12(Sup 1): S3, Jun 2012
Abstract: In the health systems literature one can see discussions about the trade off between the equity achievable by the system and its efficiency. Essentially it is argued that as greater health equity is achieved, so the level of efficiency will diminish. This argument is borrowed from economics literature on market efficiency. In the application of the economic argument to health, however, serious errors have been made, because it is quite reasonable to talk of both health equity being a desirable output of a health system, and the efficient production of that output. In this article we discuss notions of efficiency, and the equity-efficiency trade off, before considering the implications of this for health systems.
Description: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited - Copyright @ 2012 Reidpath et al.
ISSN: 1471-2458
Appears in Collections:Publications
Community Health and Public Health
Health Economics Research Group (HERG)
Dept of Clinical Sciences Research Papers

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