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Health-Care Utilization in Canada: 25 Years of Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Lori J. Curtis
  • William J. MacMinn

Abstract

An abundance of literature links socio-economic status to health and health care in Canada and other countries. Recent anecdotal evidence indicates that Canadians believe their access to health care is diminishing over time. This study provides a brief description of utilization patterns in health-care services provided under public health insurance (physicians, specialists and hospitals) in Canada between 1978 and 2003. The relationships between socio-economic status (SES) and utilization, controlling for demographic characteristics are examined to investigate whether changes in the equity of utilization have occurred over time. Results indicate that SES inequities in utilization are apparent in publicly insured services, appearing to be more relevant in initial contact with the system rather than in the number of visits. Specialist’s services are particularly problematic and becoming more so over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Lori J. Curtis & William J. MacMinn, 2007. "Health-Care Utilization in Canada: 25 Years of Evidence," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 190, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:190
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap190.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Durand, Franck & Geoffard, Pierre-Yves, 1998. "Moral hazard and the demand for physician services: First lessons from a French natural experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 499-511, May.
    2. Mark Stabile, 2001. "Private insurance subsidies and public health care markets: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 921-942, November.
    3. Curtis, Lori & Phipps, Shelley, 2004. "Social transfers and the health status of mothers in Norway and Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(12), pages 2499-2507, June.
    4. Dunlop, Sheryl & Coyte, Peter C. & McIsaac, Warren, 2000. "Socio-economic status and the utilisation of physicians' services: results from the Canadian National Population Health Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 123-133, July.
    5. Rainer Winkelmann, 2002. "Health Care Reform and the Number of Doctor Visits � An Econometric Analysis," SOI - Working Papers 0210, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sara Allin & Jeremiah Hurley, 2009. "Inequity in publicly funded physician care: what is the role of private prescription drug insurance?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(10), pages 1218-1232.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health-care utilization; socio-economic status; Canada;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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