Online Program

Unmet health care need in Turkey after the transformation on healthcare system

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 5:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Sarp Uner, MD, PhD, Institute of Public Health, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
Mahmut Yardim Sr., Institute of Public Health, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
Background: Turkey’s healthcare system has been undergoing a transformation and equity in access to healthcare is one of the core elements of this Health Transformation Program. This study aimed to determine the change in access to healthcare in Turkey and to investigate the causes of this unmet need with respect on some socio-demographic variables. 

Methods: The country representative data from Turkey Income and Living Condition Survey were analyzed in this study. Two groups of unmet need were constructed: unmet need due to cost, unmet need due to availability (waiting list and distance problems). Percentage changes in the unmet needs between 2006 and 2010 were calculated for each category. Predictors of unmet need were assessed by multinomial logistic regression analysis.

Results: Proportion of individuals experiencing unmet need due to cost and due to availability was 16.8% and 2.0% in 2006. These proportions fell down to 14.9% and 1.3% respectively in 2010. However there were significant differences in unmet need due to cost across the income gradients. In 2006, population in poorest income quintile reported seven folds more unmet need due to cost compared to the richest. Analysis revealed that this gap has been widened and income inequality became more prominent in 2010. In addition to this, rural population reported significantly higher unmet need due to availability in 2010 compared with 2006

Conclusion: Findings show that access to healthcare is improving in Turkey but this improvement is not evenly distributed between social groups and suggests that further existing inequalities also increases. Inequality must be reduced by applying positive discrimination in efforts for the groups which needs further. Socio-political interventions for reducing the existing socio-economic inequalities will be the basic solution.

Learning Areas:

Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Identify the importance of evenly distribution of access to healthcare for all social groups, Explain the necessity of applying positive discrimination for the groups which needs further to reduce inequality,

Keyword(s): Accessibility, Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of several national and international funded projects focusing on the health service utilization and health human resource planning. Among my scientific interests has been the assessment of health care system and the development of strategies for reducing inequalities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.