• equity in allocation of health care;
  • NHS;
  • arthritis;
  • public and private health care


The paper uses new and detailed data from a population sample of individuals with arthritis to examine the impact of objective measures of need for treatment and individual measures of socio-economic position on the distribution of public and private health care. The quality of the data and the range of explanatory factors are more detailed than previously used to study of the allocation of NHS care. The results indicate that broadly the NHS appears to meet its equity goal of equal care for equal medical need, though there is evidence that education increases the amount of resources received. The results also show the importance of the interaction between the public and private sectors in the UK. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.