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Inequity in healthcare use among older people after 2008: The case of Southern European Countries

Lara Tavares () and Francesca Zantomio ()

No 2017:03, Working Papers from Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari"

Abstract: Despite the sizeable cuts in public healthcare spending, part of the austerity measures recently undertaken in Southern European countries, little attention has been devoted to monitoring distributional aspects of healthcare usage. This study aims at measuring socioeconomic inequities in primary and secondary healthcare experienced some time after the crisis onset in Italy, Spain and Portugal. The analysis, based on data drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), focuses on older people, who generally face significantly higher healthcare needs, and whose health appeared to have worsened in the aftermath of the crisis. The Horizontal Inequity indexes reveal remarkable socioeconomic inequities in older people’s access to secondary healthcare in all three countries. In Portugal, the one country facing most severe healthcare budget cuts and where user charges apply also to GP visits, even access to primary care exhibits a significant pro-rich concentration. If reducing inequities in older people’s access to healthcare remains a policy objective, austerity measures maybe pulling the Olive belt countries further away from achieving it.

Keywords: Healthcare access; Older People; Horizontal Equity; Concentration Index (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I13 I14 H51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-eur and nep-hea
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Journal Article: Inequity in healthcare use among older people after 2008: The case of southern European countries (2017) Downloads
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