Access to healthcare in times of crisis

Eurofound presented recently a report on the financial crisis and their impact on EU citizens' access to healthcare. Oxford Research has been responsible for the Swedish study.

As a result of the economic and financial crisis, many EU governments have reduced funding for healthcare services as one approach to balancing their budgets. Patients have been required to pay larger shares of their healthcare costs themselves, and availability of healthcare services has been reduced (Mladovsky et al, 2012; Hou et al, 2013).

Job losses and reduced income have made it harder for many to pay for healthcare. The crisis has also had an impact on health and increased the need for certain healthcare services, such as those dealing with anxiety and depression following job losses and financial problems (Karanikolos et al, 2013).

This report aims to identify population groups that have experienced reduced access as a consequence of the crisis, including 'hidden' groups that may not be identified easily by macro data. It further describes the steps governments and service providers have taken to maintain access to healthcare. The drive for more effective and efficient healthcare is not new, but this report will discuss its relationship to access to healthcare services in the context of the crisis.


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