Hospital choice in times of restructuring of the hospital sector: Assessment of individual preferences for the case of uncomplicated pregnancies

Free hospital choice is a key characteristic in the Danish health system, which means citizens choose provider based on their preferences. If preferences lead to irrational demand, it will affect efficient production. This is the case in obstetrics where some women with uncomplicated pregnancies prefer to give birth at highly specialized hospitals despite long travel distance.
The aim of this project is to examine the extent of irrational demand and to investigate how citizens make their choices in order to identify means to correct irrational demand.
The PhD project consists of 3 studies: a register-based cohort study to determine characteristics of individuals that choose a different hospital than the nearest, a qualitative study to investigate individual’s preferences and a prospective Discrete Choice Experiment for test of findings of study 2. The results will inform health care managers in times of restructuring hospital sector, cuts in number of beds and increase in service demand.

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