Bedsides healthcare rationing dilemmas

Journal article


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Publication Details

Subtitle: A survey from Bulgaria and comparison with Portugal
Author list: Pinho, M., Borges, A.P. & Zahariev, B.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (part of Springer Nature): Hybrid journals [SN-owned]
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Social Theory and Health (1477-8211)
Volume number: 15
Issue number: 3
Number of pages: 17
ISSN: 1477-8211
eISSN: 1477-822X
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


We investigate the views of Bulgarian citizens on the principles that
should guide microallocation healthcare resources and compare them
directly with those of Portuguese citizens. A self-administered online
questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 298 Bulgarian
citizens, using methods from a matching previous study in Portugal.
Respondents faced a hypothetical rationing exercise where they had to
choose and order four patients (differentiated by personal and health
characteristics) and a set of statements that embodied: (i) distributive
criteria for prioritizing patients, (ii) who should prioritize
patients, and (iii) the likelihood of these prioritization decisions
being real. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and non-parametric
test were used. Findings suggest that Bulgarian respondents: (i) support
a plurality of distributive principles to underpin healthcare priority
setting with an incident on the severity of health conditions, on
utilitarianism and on reducing health inequalities; (ii) trust in the
health professional to make prioritization decisions and (iii) do not
seem to believe that patients' prioritization will ever become real.
While Bulgarian and Portuguese respondents support a number of shared
ethical principles they place a different level of importance to each.
Bulgarians value mainly the age criterion in prioritizing patients,
whereas Portuguese revealed a greater concern about efficiency.


Bulgaria, Health, Health care, Portugal


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Last updated on 2019-23-08 at 11:15