The impact of user charges on patient choice of healthcare services in Ireland

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dc.contributor.advisor Kirby, Ann en
dc.contributor.advisor Turner, Brian en
dc.contributor.advisor Shinnick, Edward en Fox, Aimée 2016-09-05T08:37:57Z 2016-09-05T08:37:57Z 2016 2016
dc.identifier.citation Fox, A. 2016. The impact of user charges on patient choice of healthcare services in Ireland. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 412 en
dc.description.abstract This research assesses the impact of user charges in the context of consumer choice to ascertain how user charges in healthcare impact on patient behaviour in Ireland. Quantitative data is collected from a subset of the population in walk-in Urgent Care Clinics and General Practitioner surgeries to assess their responses to user charges and whether user charges are a viable source of part-funding healthcare in Ireland. Examining the economic theories of Becker (1965) and Grossman (1972), the research has assessed the impact of user charges on patient choice in terms of affordability and accessibility in healthcare. The research examined a number of private, public and part-publicly funded healthcare services in Ireland for which varying levels of user charges exist depending on patients’ healthcare cover. Firstly, the study identifies the factors affecting patient choice of privately funded walk-in Urgent Care Clinics in Ireland given user charges. Secondly, the study assesses patient response to user charges for a mainly public or part-publicly provided service; prescription drugs. Finally, the study examines patients’ attitudes towards the potential application of user charges for both public and private healthcare services when patient choice is part of a time-money trade-off, convenience choice or preference choice. These services are valued in the context of user charges becoming more prevalent in healthcare systems over time. The results indicate that the impact of user charges on healthcare services vary according to socio-economic status. The study shows that user charges can disproportionately affect lower income groups and consequently lead to affordability and accessibility issues. However, when valuing the potential application of user charges for three healthcare services (MRI scans, blood tests and a branded over a generic prescription drug), this research indicates that lower income individuals are willing to pay for healthcare services, albeit at a lower user charge than higher income earners. Consequently, this study suggests that user charges may be a feasible source of part-financing Irish healthcare, once the user charge is determined from the patients’ perspective, taking into account their ability to pay. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2016, Aimee Fox. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject Healthcare en
dc.subject Health en
dc.subject User charges en
dc.title The impact of user charges on patient choice of healthcare services in Ireland en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Commerce) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en No embargo required en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en Economics en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason No embargo required en
dc.check.opt-out Not applicable en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Not applicable en
dc.internal.conferring Autumn 2016 en

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© 2016, Aimee Fox. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2016, Aimee Fox.
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