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Equity in health care use among older people in the UK: an analysis of panel data

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Abstract:

This article uses panel data to investigate the extent of income-related inequity in the likelihood of visiting a General Practitioner (GP), specialist, dentist and hospital among individuals aged 65 years and over in the UK. The probability of accessing health care is predicted with separate random effects probit panel models using data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) for the period 1998 to 2006. We use well-established methods based on the concept of the concentration curve to compare the cumulative distribution of health care utilization with the cumulative distribution of the population ranked by income. The results find evidence for inequity in specialist and dental care, but only slight inequity for GP care and not significant inequity in hospital admissions. Levels of inequity are highest for specialist and dental care, even when users of the private sector are excluded from analyses. The Mobility Index (MI) is also used to compare short- and long-run estimates of inequities and show that upwardly income mobile individuals contribute to inequity in the long run.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036840903196621

Affiliations: LSE Health, London School of Economics and Political Science, Cowdray House J404, Houghton StreetLondonWC2A 2AE, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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