Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_2931


Rationing is the controlled distribution of scarce goods and services. In health care, the term rationing describes the process by which choices are made when the demand for health care exceeds the resources available. Rationing involves strategies to allocate scarce health care resources under budget constraints such as rationing by denial, selection or deterrence. The reason for rationing in health care is the continuous upward spiral of medical expenses in all health care systems ( cost containment).

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© Springer-Verlag 2008