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Variations in preventive care utilisation in Europe

  • Sirven, Nicolas
  • Or, Zeynep
  • Jusot, Florence

Prevention has been identified as an effective strategy to lead healthy, active and independent lives in old age. Developing effective prevention programs requires understanding the influence of both individual and health system level factors on utilisation of specific services. This study examines the variations in utilisation of preventive services by the population aged 50 and over in 14 European countries, pooling data from the two waves of Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe and the British Household Panel Survey. The models used allow for the impact of individual level demand-side characteristics and supply-side health systems features to be separately identified. The analysis shows significant variations in preventive care utilisation both within and across European countries. In all countries, controlling for individual health status and country-level systemic differences, higher educated and higher income groups use more preventive services. At the health system level, high public health expenditures and high GP density is associated with a high level of preventive care use, but specialist density does not appear to have any effect. Moreover, payment schemes for GPs and specialists appear to significantly affect the incentives to provide preventive health care. In systems where doctors are paid by fee-for-service the utilisation of all health services, including cancer screening, are higher.

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Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/7402.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in European Journal of Ageing, 2012, Vol. 9, no. 1. pp. 15-25.Length: 10 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/7402
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