To read this content please select one of the options below:

Equity in Health Care Delivery: Some thoughts and an Example

Health and Inequality

ISBN: 978-1-78190-553-1, eISBN: 978-1-78190-554-8

Publication date: 30 December 2013


Equality of opportunity (EOp) for health is defined and advocated as the right conceptualization of equity in the allocation of health care resources. EOp is contrasted with the traditional view that equity consists in “horizontal equity,” a state in which all persons in a society with similar health needs receive similar amounts of medical resources. We argue the horizontal equity is neither sufficient nor necessary for distributive justice in this domain. The EOp view holds individuals partially responsible for the quality of lifestyle that they live, in so far as it affects their health, but compensates individuals for the effect on health of circumstances beyond their control, including the effect of circumstances on their lifestyle. EOp generally recommends a distribution of medical resources that is more egalitarian than the utilitarianism recommends, but less egalitarian than the (Rawlsian) maximin view recommends. An example is computed to illustrate the difference between opportunity equalizing and utilitarian health delivery policies.



Roemer, J.E. (2013), "Equity in Health Care Delivery: Some thoughts and an Example", Health and Inequality (Research on Economic Inequality, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 471-489.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited