Informal patient payments for health care services: policy challenges and strategies for solutions

Milena Pavlova,

Tetiana Stepurko,

Vladimir S. Gordeev,

Sonila Tomini,

Irena Gryga,

Wim Groot


The topic of informal patient payments is rather new in policy discussions although the phenomenon has existed for decades. These payments are a threat to public health since they jeopardise efficiency, equity and quality of health care provision. Most importantly, those who  cannot afford to pay might not seek or delay seeking treatment. Before attempting to deal with informal patient payments, it is necessary to understand the reasons for their existence and their role in health care provision. This could indicate the mechanisms through which these payments can be influenced by policy, as well as relevant strategies for dealing with these payments. This paper outlines a mixture of strategies as a plausible solution to informal patient payments. The successful implementation of these strategies depends on the particular setting and the overall conditions in the country (e.g. prevalence of corruption, and attitudes of health system stakeholders towards informal payments).

Słowa kluczowe: opłaty nieformalne, opieka zdrowotna, strategie polityki zdrowotnej

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