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Effects of financial disadvantage on use and non-use of after hours care in Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2006-11-01, 00:00 authored by M Kelaher, D Dunt, S Day, Peter Feldman
Policy addressing the provision of primary care after hours (AH) is currently in flux because of concerns about equity of access and cost. In this study we examine the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage on access to AH care and episodes of not seeking AH care when needed among users and non-users of AH care. The effects of health on these relationships were also explored. The total sample consisted of 5538 users of AH care and 891 non-users of AH care who were randomly selected for telephone interviews. Factors determining AH care included accessibility that is structural barriers to use of care such as distance and transport, as well as affordability and availability. Logistic regression was used to determine the impact of financial disadvantage on episodes of not seeking AH care. Barriers to use of AH care and household health were subsequently added to the models to assess their impact. The results suggested that there were inequities in access to AH care but these were a function of barriers to AH care use rather than financial disadvantage per se. Accessibility and availability were significant barriers to use of AH clinics among both user and non-user samples. Affordability was only a significant barrier among users of AH care. The study suggests that policy aimed at reducing these barriers may effectively address inequities in AH care but that to be optimally effective policy change would also need to be accompanied by changes in consumer awareness.

History

Journal

Health policy

Volume

79

Issue

1

Pagination

16 - 23

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, Netherlands

ISSN

0168-8510

eISSN

1872-6054

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2005, Elsevier Ireland

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