Intended for healthcare professionals

Analysis Health Systems Perspectives

Can user charges make health care more efficient?

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 18 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3759

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Sarah Thomson, deputy director12,
  2. Thomas Foubister, research officer in health policy1,
  3. Elias Mossialos, director12
  1. 1LSE Health, London WC2A 2AE
  2. 2European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
  1. Correspondence to: S Thomson s.thomson{at}


    Sarah Thomson, Thomas Foubister, and Elias Mossialos explain why charging patients for health services we want them to use makes little economic sense


    • Analysis, doi:10.1136/bmj.c2115
    • Contributors and sources: ST, TF, and EM have recently written an overview of healthcare financing in the European Union. ST and EM have extensive experience of European health systems through their involvement with the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. ST, TF, and EM devised the article. ST wrote the first draft. TF and EM contributed to subsequent drafts. All have read and agreed the final version. ST is the guarantor.

    • Competing interests: All authors have completed the unified competing interest form at (available on request from the corresponding author) and declare no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisation that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; and no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

    • Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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