Public opinion and rationing in the United Kingdom

Health Policy. 1999 Dec;50(1-2):39-53. doi: 10.1016/s0168-8510(99)00063-9.


In the United Kingdom and as in all other countries, health care professionals ration access to diagnosis and treatment. Throughout its history there has been a reluctance to acknowledge the existence, let alone the nature of rationing processes and public opinion about them. Several health policy reforms are discussed with reference to their approach to dealing with the scarcity of health care resources. Data taken form the 1998 Eurobarometer Survey are analysed to examine public opinion regarding rationing issues, such as funding for health care, the need to set limits in health coverage, the role of stakeholders in setting priorities, and the use of age, and other factors, as a criteria for setting priorities.

MeSH terms

  • Health Care Rationing / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Care Rationing / organization & administration
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Priorities
  • Policy Making
  • Public Opinion*
  • State Medicine / organization & administration*
  • United Kingdom