26 de novembre 2015

How universal is universal coverage?

An analysis of perceived access to health care in Europe:How universal is universal coverage?

Two different realities are intertwined: healthcare access right and needs-based access. The first is widely acknowledged in European countries, the second depends on the specific measurement of geographic (and financial) barriers to healthcare providers.
An article in Health Policy sheds some light on the issue. And its results are compelling:
Despite clear commitments to move towards universal health coverage in Europe, our results suggest that there remains significant heterogeneity among individuals in terms of their perceptions of access to care across and within countries. Overall, we find that the poorest groups are still the most likely to feel they will be unable to accesscare if they need it. In some countries however, differences in the probabilities of perceiving access barriers between low and high-income individuals are relatively small. This insinuates that rationing mechanisms that affect all income groups, such as low quality care and long waiting times may serve as important barriers.
PS. There is no clear pattern between out of pocket expenditure as a percentage of total health expenditure, and the predicted probability of perceived inability to access care: