Identification of the Main Elements of Single Payer System; A Comparative Study

  • Ali Aboutorabi
  • Saman Ghasempour
  • Behzad Najafi
  • Sirous Panahi
Keywords: consolidation, Health Insurance funds, health care reform, multiple pools, Single Payer System


Background: Progress towards universal coverage requires adequate capital in health sector. Investing and optimal allocation of resources in this sector will contribute to the development and reduction of poverty in countries in order to achieve the goals of health system. Therefore, the more people contribute to risk sharing, we have lower financial risks in facing the issue. The single payer system as a public health coverage model seeks to expand the insurance coverage scope at community level. The present study aimed to identify the main elements of S-PS to conduct a comparative study.

Methods: A comparative study was conducted to describe the fundamental of financing and the provision of services in selected countries - Germany, Thailand, Turkey, and Colombia, as well as to achieve the main elements of S-PS. In addition, the health system of Iran has been studied. The basis for selection of countries was health system Garden typology. The main criteria for selection or rejection of studies were the separation of health services provider from financial functions; has allowed a single department to purchasing process.

Results: single payer system in two functions of health system, namely, financing and providing health care; consolidation resources (reducing fragmentation by creating a single pooled fund and achieve massive purchase of health care through the insurance agent as single purchaser) and ensuring community health (delivery of services by the network of providers represented by Health Promotion Organization) represents 12 main organizational elements.

Conclusion: the multiple insurers and payers of health care in Iran are both inequity and ineffective. And its integration is not a simple task. Iranian financing policies should aimed to achieving universal health coverage by creating greater risk pooling and becoming aware of the important tasks of insurance system; take advantage of the strength in numbers, setting the principles of cross-subsidy and preventing adverse reaction. It is important not to put together a long-term, coherent plan to reach the S-PS.