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Income-related inequalities and inequities in health care services utilisation in 18 selected OECD countries

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  • Marion Devaux

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Abstract

A key policy objective in OECD countries is to achieve adequate access to health care for all people on the basis of need. Previous studies have shown that there are inequities in health care services utilisation (HCSU) in the OECD area. In recent years, measures have been taken to enhance health care access. This paper re-examines income-related inequities in doctor visits among 18 selected OECD countries, updating previous results for 12 countries with 2006–2009 data, and including six new countries. Inequalities in preventive care services are also considered for the first time. The indirect standardisation procedure is used to estimate the need-adjusted HCSU and concentration indexes are derived to gauge inequalities and inequities. Overall, inequities in HCSU remain present in OECD countries. In most countries, for the same health care needs, people with higher incomes are more likely to consult a doctor than those with lower incomes. Pro-rich inequalities in dental visits and cancer screening uptake are also found in nearly all countries, although the magnitude of these varies among countries. These findings suggest that further monitoring of inequalities is essential in order to assess whether country policy objectives are achieved on a regular basis. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Marion Devaux, 2015. "Income-related inequalities and inequities in health care services utilisation in 18 selected OECD countries," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(1), pages 21-33, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:16:y:2015:i:1:p:21-33
    DOI: 10.1007/s10198-013-0546-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Grignon, Michel & Hurley, Jeremiah & Wang, Li & Allin, Sara, 2010. "Inequity in a market-based health system: Evidence from Canada's dental sector," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 81-90, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Cookson & Carol Proppper & Miqdad Asaria & Rosalind Raine, 2016. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health care in England," Working Papers 129cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    2. repec:eee:socmed:v:185:y:2017:i:c:p:147-157 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:eujhec:v:19:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10198-017-0895-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Makate, Marshall & Makate, Clifton, 2016. "The Evolution of Socioeconomic-Related Inequalities in Maternal Healthcare Utilization: Evidence from Zimbabwe, 1994-2011," MPRA Paper 72718, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Jul 2016.
    5. Pierre, Aurélie & Jusot, Florence, 2017. "The likely effects of employer-mandated complementary health insurance on health coverage in France," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 321-328.
    6. Anell, Anders & Dackehag , Margareta & Dietrichson, Jens, 2016. "Does Risk-Adjusted Payment Influence Primary Care Providers' Decision on Where to Set Up Practices?," Working Papers 2016:24, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    7. repec:eee:jhecon:v:58:y:2018:i:c:p:228-252 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:spr:soinre:v:138:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-017-1686-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Hajizadeh, Mohammad & Mitnitski, Arnold & Rockwood, Kenneth, 2016. "Socioeconomic gradient in health in Canada: Is the gap widening or narrowing?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(9), pages 1040-1050.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Inequity; Doctor visit; Preventive care; Health care access; I10; I14;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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