Access to care in the Baltic States : did crisis have an impact?

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
Access to care in the Baltic States: did crisis have an impact?
In the Journal:
European Journal of Public Health. 2015, Vol. 26, no. 2, p. 236-241
Reikšminiai žodžiai: Baltijos valstybės; Baltijos šalys (Baltic states); Ekonominė krizė; Ekonominės krizės įtaka sveikatos apsaugos sistemai; Krizė; Įtaka; Baltic states; Crisis; Economic crisis; Impact; The Baltic States; The impact of the economic crisis on the health system.
Ekonominė krizė; Įtaka; Sveikata / Health; Valdymas / Management.
Summary / Abstract:

ENIn 2009, brief but deep economic crisis profoundly affected the three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In response, all three countries adopted severe austerity measures with the shared goal of containing rising deficits, but employing different methods. Aims: In this article, we analyze the impact of the economic crisis and post-crisis austerity measures on health systems and access to medical services in the three countries. Methods: We use the EU-SILC data to analyze trends in unmet medical need in 2005–2012, and apply log-binomial regression to calculate the risk of unmet medical need in the pre- and post- crisis period. Results: Between 2009 and 2012 unmet need has increased significantly in Latvia (OR: 1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15–1.34) and Estonia (OR: 1.98, 95% CI: 1.72–2.27), but not Lithuania (OR: 0.84. 95% CI: 0.69–1.04). The main drivers of increased unmet need were inability to afford care in Latvia and long waiting lists in Estonia. Conclusion: The impact of the crisis on access to care in the three countries varied, as did the austerity measures affecting their health systems. Estonia and Latvia experienced worsening access to care, largely exacerbating already existing barriers. The example of Lithuania suggests that deterioration in access is not inevitable, once health policies prioritise maintenance and availability of existing services, or if there is room for reducing existing inefficiencies. Moreover, better financial preparedness of health systems in Estonia and Lithuania achieved some protection of the population from increasing unmet need due to the rising cost of medical care. [From the publication]

Related Publications:
Economic inequality in satisfaction with healthcare in the Baltic countries during and after the economic crisis (2008–2014) / Ave Roots, Mare Ainsaar, Oliver Nahkur. Journal of Baltic studies. 2019, vol. 50, no. 1, p. 21-37.
2020-04-18 07:31:05
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