Barriers in access to healthcare services for chronic patients in times of austerity: an empirical approach in Greece

dianagosalvez Diana Gosálvez Prados last modified 5/02/2016 12:42

The objecticve of this article is to investigate the magnitude of barriers in access to health services for chronic patients and the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics that affect them.

Kyriopoulos I-I., Zavras D., Skroumpelos A., Mylona K., Athanasakis K., Kyriopoulos J. Barriers in access to healthcare services for chronic patients in times of austerity: an empirical approach in Greece. International Journal for Equity in Health 2014, 13:54 (25 July 2014). Available at: http://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-9276-13-54


Article

5/02/2016

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted in 1,594 chronic patients suffering from diabetes, hypertension, COPD and Alzheimer. Logistic regression analyses were carried out in order to explore the factors related to economic and geographical barriers in access, as well as the determinants of barriers due to waiting lists.

Results

A total of 25% of chronic patients face geographical barriers while 63.5% and 58.5% of them are in front of economic and waiting list barriers, respectively. Unemployed, low-income and low-educated are more likely to face economic barriers in access. Moreover, women, low-income patients, and patients with lower health status are more likely to be in front of geographical barriers. In addition, the probability of waiting lists occurrence is greater for unemployed, employees and low income patients.

Conclusions

Barriers in access can be mainly attributed to income decrease and unemployment. In this context, health policy measures are essential for removing barriers in access. Otherwise, inequalities may increase and chronic patients’ health status will be deteriorated. These consequences imply adverse effects on health expenditure.


Kyriopoulos I-I., Zavras D., Skroumpelos A., Mylona K., Athanasakis K., Kyriopoulos J.

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