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Bedside healthcare rationing dilemmas: a survey from Croatia

Micaela Pinho (Research on Economics, Management and Information Technologies (REMIT), Portucalense University, DEGI, Porto, Portugal) (Research Unit in Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies (GOVCOPP), University of Aveiro, DEGEIT, Aveiro, Portugal)
Ana Pinto Borges (European Business School and Research Group (NIDISAG), ISAG, Porto, Portugal)
Duje Petricevic (University of Split, Split, Croatia)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 18 June 2018

Issue publication date: 2 July 2018



The purpose of this paper is to explore Croatian views about issues regarding bedside rationing decisions.


An online questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 243 Croatian citizens. In a context of hypothetical scenarios involving priority setting decisions taking by physicians, the present study elicits Croatian respondents’ views concerning: the ethical principles that should guide patients prioritization; the parties that should make prioritization decisions; and the likelihood of healthcare rationing becoming a reality. Descriptive analysis, factor analysis and parametric and non-parametric tests were performed.


Findings suggest that Croatian respondents: support multiple substantive rationing criteria, with an incident in favoring the worst-off, reducing inequalities in health, translated in the fair-innings argument and efficiency achievement; appoint health professionals as rationing decision makers; and do not seem to believe in the possibility of patient selection becoming a reality.

Practical implications

Favoring the worst-off, equalizing life time health and the pursuit of efficiency seem to be the criteria most preferred by Croatian respondents to guide rationing policy at the micro level.


This study is the first attempt to elicit Croatian opinions concerning several rationing criteria inherent in healthcare micro allocation decisions. Healthcare rationing is a serious challenge to Croatian policy makers and so it would be useful for the public’s perceptions and beliefs to be considered.



Pinho, M., Pinto Borges, A. and Petricevic, D. (2018), "Bedside healthcare rationing dilemmas: a survey from Croatia", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 153-164.



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