Abstract: There is evidence that the economic crisis in Greece has substantially affected patients and health care services, with chronic patients forming a particularly vulnerable group. The aim of this study was to investigate whether and in what way the current economic environment has affected patients with selected chronic conditions. A cross sectional study was carried out with a sample size of 1200 patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Following a large family income decrease (35.4%) in the last 3 years, chronic patients reported decreased spending for various expenditure categories in order to maintain their ability to finance their health care needs. Among the disease groups studied, statistically significant differences were found for self-rated heath (SRH), out-of pocket health expenditures, health services utilization and the perceived need for physician services. Although need for physician visits for issues related to the chronic condition has largely been reported as met, this was achieved by increased out-of-pocket expenditures and large family budget cuts for essential household goods and services. Austerity measures and reduction of public health expenditure by the state appear to have led to high private expenditures and to de jure or de facto insurance coverage loss for primary care services.
Keywords: economic crisis; health status; health services utilization; unmet need; out-of pocket expenditures; Greece
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Skroumpelos, A.; Pavi, E.; Mylona, K.; Kyriopoulos, J. The Impact of Economic Crisis on Chronic Patients’ Self-Rated Health, Health Expenditures and Health Services Utilization. Diseases 2014, 2, 93-105.
Skroumpelos A, Pavi E, Mylona K, Kyriopoulos J. The Impact of Economic Crisis on Chronic Patients’ Self-Rated Health, Health Expenditures and Health Services Utilization. Diseases. 2014; 2(2):93-105.
Skroumpelos, Anastasios; Pavi, Elpida; Mylona, Katerina; Kyriopoulos, John. 2014. "The Impact of Economic Crisis on Chronic Patients’ Self-Rated Health, Health Expenditures and Health Services Utilization." Diseases 2, no. 2: 93-105.