Affordable Access

Equity of access to health care: outlining the foundations for action

BMJ Group
Publication Date
  • Hm Sociology


The Ministers of Health from Chile, Germany, Greece, New Zealand, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom recently established The International Forum on Common Access to Health Care Services, based on a common belief that their citizens should enjoy universal and equitable access to good quality health care. The Ministers intend to form a network to share thinking and evidence on health care improvements, with the specific aim of sustaining and promoting equitable access to health care. Despite a vast literature on the notion of equity of access, little agreement has been reached in the literature on exactly what this notion ought to mean. This article provides a brief description of the relevance of the access principle of equity, and summarises the research programme that is necessary for turning the principle into a useful, operational policy objective.

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