Primary health care in New Zealand: Who has access?

Jatrana, Santosh, and Crampton, Peter (2009) Primary health care in New Zealand: Who has access? Health Policy, 93 (1). pp. 1-10.

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Objective: We examined the demographic, socioeconomic, health behaviour and health determinants of financial barriers to access to general practitioner services, prescription drugs and dental care in New Zealand (NZ).

Methods: Data from SoFIE-health, which is an add-on to the Statistics New Zealand-led Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE), were analyzed using logistic regression.

Results: Of the total of 18,320 respondents, 2845 (15.5%), 4175 (22.8%), and 1165 (6.4%), reported that they had deferred seeing their doctor/s, dentist and buying a prescription, respectively, at least once during the preceding 12 months, because they could not afford the cost of a visit or prescription. Younger age, female sex, low or middle income tertile, living in a least deprived area, having more individual deprivation characteristics (5+), current smokers, reporting high and very high levels of psychological distress and more than two co-morbid diseases were all independently associated with increased odds of deferring doctors' visits, collecting medications and dental visits.

Conclusions: Financial barriers to needed primary care exist for a substantial subgroup of people in New Zealand. A key policy lever is lowering cost barriers to make primary health care in general and dental care in particular more accessible.

Item ID: 71022
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6054
Keywords: Primary health care, Access barriers, New Zealand
Copyright Information: © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2021 07:43
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420319 Primary health care @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280112 Expanding knowledge in the health sciences @ 70%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280123 Expanding knowledge in human society @ 30%
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