Scientific Online Resource System

Scripta Scientifica Salutis Publicae

Indicators for resource allocation in the health system - a regional approach

Maria Rohova


Introduction: Resource allocation is closely related to health inequalities issue and is an important anchor for reducing the inequities in the health system. Its basic principles include effectiveness, equity and utility. The aim of this study is to propose a system of indicators, which could be used for resource allocation in the health care.

Materials and methods: This study relies on a qualitative method, namely an expert opinion research. The inquiry was conducted in the end of 2014 and includes 41 experts in the field of health care. The results are summarised and analysed by median and percentiles.

Results and discussion: The results confirm the relationship between health inequalities, health inequities and resource allocation and the connection is the access to health services. Distribution of the resources in the health system should be based on the specific health needs of the population at a regional level.

As a result of the expert opinion, a system of indicators for resource allocation is composed. The system has two main groups of indicators - for resource allocation among regions and for distribution of resources between health services, programs and health sectors in one region. The indicators are summarised in 5 sections - general characteristic of the region, demographic, socio-economic, ecological characteristics and health status variables.

Conclusions: Fair and equitable resource allocation among regions is an important instrument for reducing health inequities. But for improving the access to health services, all decisions have to consider population health needs, so the health system will be `patient-centered`.


resource allocation, indicators, health equity, region

Full Text


Denzin NK, Lincoln YS (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research. 3rd ed., Thousand Oaks, London; 2005.

Diderichsen F. Resource Allocation for Health Equity: Issues and Methods. The World Bank, Washington; 2004.

Gladilov S, Delcheva E. Health Economics. Princeps, Sofia; 2000 (in Bulgarian).

Marvasti AB. Qualitative Research in Sociology. An Introduction. Sage Publications, London; 2004.

Sheldon TA, Smith PC. Equity in the Allocation of Health Care Resources. Health Economics, 2000, 9:571-4.

Vega A, O`Shea S, Murrin C, Staines A. Towards the Development of a Resource Allocation Model for Primary Continuing and Community Care in the Health Services. Technical Report, Vol. 2, Dublin; 2010.

WHO. Guidance on Ethics and Equitable Access to HIV Treatment and Care, 2004. Available from:



About The Author

Maria Rohova
Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

Department of Economics and Health Care Management, Faculty of Public Health

Font Size