Older People Health and Access to Healthcare: A Retrospective Look at Inequality Dynamics Over the Past Decade

29 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2019

See all articles by Dino Rizzi

Dino Rizzi

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia

Carlo Simionato

Regional Council of Veneto

Francesca Zantomio

Ca Foscari University of Venice

Date Written: September 1, 2019

Abstract

The past decade of austerity measures has severely hit Public Healthcare provision in Italy, entailing significant reductions in per-capita expenditure, particularly in Regions put under ‘Healthcare Budget Recovery Plans’, mostly in the South of the country. Building on data on individuals aged 50 or older drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, we compute time- and area-specific Concentration and Horizontal Inequity indexes, to assess the evolution of inequity in older people health and healthcare access (i.e. GP contacts and specialists’ visits) across Italian macro-areas since the Great Recession onset. Results show that in the North, while health has been improving on average, income-related inequality in health has increased; in the South, while on average health has not improved, the concentration of bad health among the income-poor has decreased. Sizeable inequity in access to specialists’ visits emerges throughout the country, and generally worsened since before the crisis onset. Evidence overall suggests that in the South, along the crisis, under worsened income conditions and Public Healthcare budget cuts, poorer older individuals might have substituted specialised care with increased family doctors’ visits.

Keywords: health, healthcare, inequity, concentration indexes, Great Recession

JEL Classification: I13, I14, I18

Suggested Citation

Rizzi, Dino and Simionato, Carlo and Zantomio, Francesca, Older People Health and Access to Healthcare: A Retrospective Look at Inequality Dynamics Over the Past Decade (September 1, 2019). University Ca' Foscari of Venice, Dept. of Economics Research Paper Series No. 26/WP/2019 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3449736 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3449736

Dino Rizzi

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.unive.it/persone/rizzid

Carlo Simionato

Regional Council of Veneto ( email )

Italy

Francesca Zantomio (Contact Author)

Ca Foscari University of Venice ( email )

Dorsoduro 3246
Venice, Veneto 30123
Italy

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