Investigating Unmet Health Needs of Vulnerable Groups Amid the Economic Crisis in Greece

Introduction: The unmet healthcare needs, particularly of the vulnerable population groups, are undoubtedly a challenge for the health systems, given the current economic situation. They arise from obstacles relating to either the health systems or personal characteristics and individual behaviors. Aim: The purpose of the present study is twofold: to assess the impact of the economic crisis in Greece on the unmet healthcare needs of the vulnerable population groups and to determine the factors that may be related to these problems of access to health services. Method: A searching for articles on the PUBMED/MEDLINE electronic databases and on the GOOGLE SCHOLAR search engine was carried out, The key words used were: unmet healthcare needs, accessibility, economic crisis, inequalities, Greece. The articles (written in Greek and English) covered the period before and during the economic crisis, which means the period 2004–2017. Results: During the economic crisis in Greece, the unmet healthcare needs of the vulnerable population groups increased significantly, reflecting serious problems of access to necessary health care. Among the most often self-reported reasons for not using a health service were high cost, long waiting lists and lack of time. People of low socio-economic profile, with no health insurance, women and married with children were found to report more often unmet health needs compared to the general population. Conclusions: Greece is among the countries with the highest (compared to other European countries) rates of unmet needs in vulnerable social groups. There is a need to redesign the way in which healthcare is provided and to take measures at local and national level in order to be provided equal treatment for all on the basis of their real needs.

Category: Volume 58, N 2
Hits: 764 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2019
Authors: Christine Tsirona , Olga Siskou , Peter Galanis , Daphne Kaitelidou