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Older people's views on how to finance increasing health-care costs

  • Elisabet Werntoft
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
  • Sölve Elmståhl
  • Anna-Karin Edberg
Publishing year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 497-514
Publication/Series: Ageing & Society
Volume: 26
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Abstract english

The aims of this paper are to investigate both older people's views about ways In which to finance health-care costs and their willingness to pay for treatment themselves, along with variations in these views by age and gender. The data are from the Good Ageing in Sk (a) over circle ne (GAS) prospective longitudinal cohort study in Sweden, which involved medical examinations and a survey of living arrangements and socio-economic conditions. For the analysis reported in this Paper, 930 GAS respondents aged 60-93 years were invited to participate in an additional structured interview, and 902 (97%) accepted. The sample was divided into the 'young-old' (aged 60-72 years), 'old-old' (78-84 years) and 'oldest-old' (87-93 years). It was found that the participants recommended increasing health-care funding by higher taxes and that they were willing to pay themselves for specific treatments, e.g. cosmetic surgery and medication to combat impotence and obesity. Many were also willing to pay privately for cataract surgery, to shorten the wait, although the respondent's financial circumstances associated with this willingness. Significantly more men than women, and of the 'young-old' than of the other two age groups, would pay for cataract Surgery. The views of people aged 85 or more years differed from those of the young-old, e.g. significantly fewer believed that older people's health care received too little resource. Views about how to finance health care thus differed among the age groups and between men and women.


  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
  • allocation
  • older people
  • gender differences
  • health-care rationing
  • resource


  • Geriatric Medicine
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions