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Unmet medical needs in ambulatory care in Hungary: forgone visits and medications from a representative population survey

Armin Lucevic, Márta Péntek, Dionne Kringos, Niek Klazinga, László Gulácsi, Óscar Brito Fernandes, Imre Boncz and Petra Baji ()
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Armin Lucevic: Corvinus University of Budapest
Márta Péntek: Corvinus University of Budapest
Dionne Kringos: University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute
Niek Klazinga: University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute
László Gulácsi: Corvinus University of Budapest
Óscar Brito Fernandes: Corvinus University of Budapest
Imre Boncz: University of Pécs

The European Journal of Health Economics, 2019, vol. 20, issue 1, No 7, 78 pages

Abstract: Abstract Background The objective of this paper is to explore unmet health care needs in Hungary in ambulatory care due to costs and difficulties in travelling, and to analyze how unmet needs relate to socio-demographic characteristics. Methods The quantitative analysis is based on a national, representative online survey carried out in Hungary on a sample of 1000 respondents in early 2019 using a proposed set of questions developed by the OECD. We present and compare unmet medical needs in different socio-demographic groups, and we use multivariate logistic regression analysis to identify the main determinants of unmet medical needs. Results Among responders who had medical problems in the last 12 months, 27.3% reported forgone medical visit due to difficulties in travelling, 24.2% had unfilled prescription for medicine due to costs, 21.4% reported forgone medical visit or follow-up visit due to costs and 16.6% reported skipped medical test, treatment or other follow-up due to costs. These shares are much higher than presented previously in international databases. The logistic model indicates that respondents were significantly more likely to report unmet needs if they were women, younger or belonged to first and second income quintiles. Conclusions Policy makers need to address the issue of high prevalence of forgone medical care among the Hungarian population to avoid deterioration of population health and inequalities in access. As a first step, policies should try to decrease financial burden of vulnerable groups to improve access.

Keywords: Forgone care; Unmet medical needs; Access; Ambulatory care; Hungary (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I11 I13 I14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s10198-019-01063-0

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Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:20:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s10198-019-01063-0