Lara Tavares publishes new research comparing inequalities is healthcare for older people in Portugal, Italy and Spain

Socioeconomic inequities in primary and secondary healthcare use among older age groups are the focus of a new article published in Health Policy by CAPP researcher Lara Tavares, who makes a comparison between southern european countries.

The research is based on a comparison of data from Portugal, Spain and Italy after the financial and economic crisis of 2008.

Abstract: Despite the sizeable cuts in public healthcare spending, which were part of the austerity measures recently undertaken in Southern European countries, little attention has been devoted to monitoring its distributional consequences in terms of healthcare use. This study aims at measuring socioeconomic inequities in primary and secondary healthcare use experienced some time after the crisis onset in Italy, Spain and Portugal. The analysis, based on data drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), focuses on older people, who generally face significantly higher healthcare needs, and whose health appeared to have worsened in the aftermath of the crisis. The Horizontal Inequity indexes reveal remarkable socioeconomic inequities in older people’s access to secondary healthcare in all three countries. In Portugal, the one country facing most severe healthcare budget cuts and where user charges apply also to GP visits, even access to primary care exhibits a significant pro-rich concentration. If reducing inequities in older people’s access to healthcare remains a policy objective, austerity measures maybe pulling the Olive belt countries further away from achieving it.   

Co-authored with Francesca Zantomio (University of Venice and University of York), the article titled "Inequity in healthcare use among older people after 2008: The case of southern European countries" is now available on the publisher's website.

Lara Patrício Tavares is a researcher at the Centre for Public Administration and Public Policies and an Assistant Professor at Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, University of Lisbon. She has a PhD in economy by the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, and is the author of several publications, including Who Delays Childbearing? The Associations Between Time to First Birth, Personality Traits and Education.


Lastest News