Dissertation Abstracts

Equity in health care: Preferences, principles, and priorities

Author: Thomas Resch, thomas.resch@univie.ac.at
Department: Department of Economic Sociology
University: University of Vienna, Austria
Supervisor: Prof. Bernhard Kittel
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: social justice , healthcare , policy preferences , socio-economic determinants
Areas of Research: Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy , Health , Economy and Society


Contemporary public health and health care face resource constraints, self-regarding versus other-regarding preferences, and strains to become more efficient at less costs, while maintaining quality. Thus, diverse distinct ethical and moral questions and challenges arise. These concerns inevitably imply some involvement of the state that has to intervene through stewardship and governance. In doing so governments seek to promote (aggregate) utility, increase value for money, and foster health equity, while adhering to principles of distributive and procedural justice. Public health aims to mitigate the negative effects of socio-economic determinants of health outcomes, as well as countering health disparities. These patterns and gradients, which harm individual, community and public health, are even exacerbated for vulnerable, high-risk and marginalised populations. I enquire: What are the effects of asymmetric socio-economic determinants of health and of health disparities on health care access, affordability, and provision? What does the public view as just/fair or unjust/unfair in the public-private health care system in terms of access, affordability, and provision of medical interventions and of health care? Which health inequities become traceable by comparing population-specific needs with shortfalls in access, affordability, and provision of health care? Which health policies and resource allocations does the public prefer in the city’s public-private health care system? In terms of data and methodology the thesis will rely on the Austrian Corona Panel Project (ACPP) and the Vienna Public Health Equity Project (ViePHEP), which both will be analysed in a robust process of a applied statistical models. The first main target of the thesis-project is to deliver methodologically and empirically robust evidence that can be used as base for further research and for policy making. The project strives for a transparent and well documented practice of research to be accessible to both the scientific community and the public. Through the upper targets and by engaging with stakeholders in a Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach the project aims at ultimately improving health care. Therein, the thesis will be the underlying core document of the ViePHEP (https://viephep.univie.ac.at/).