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Do we reap what we sow? : exploring the association between the strength of European primary healthcare systems and inequity in unmet need

Jens Detollenaere (UGent) , Lise Hanssens (UGent) , Veerle Vyncke (UGent) , Jan De Maeseneer (UGent) and Sara Willems (UGent)
(2017) PLOS ONE. 12(1).
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Abstract
Access to healthcare is inequitably distributed across different socioeconomic groups. Several vulnerable groups experience barriers in accessing healthcare, compared to their more wealthier counterparts. In response to this, many countries use resources to strengthen their primary care (PC) system, because in many European countries PC is the first entry point to the healthcare system and plays a central role in the coordination of patients through the healthcare system. However it is unclear whether this strengthening of PC leads to less inequity in access to the whole healthcare system. This study investigates the association between strength indicators of PC and inequity in unmet need by merging data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions database (2013) and the Primary Healthcare Activity Monitor for Europe (2010). The analyses reveal a significant association between the Gini coefficient for income inequality and inequity in unmet need. When the Gini coefficient of a country is one SD higher, the social inequity in unmet need in that particular country will be 4.960 higher. Furthermore, the accessibility and the workforce development of a country's PC system is inverse associated with the social inequity of unmet need. More specifically, when the access- and workforce development indicator of a country PC system are one standard deviation higher, the inequity in unmet healthcare needs are respectively 2.200 and 4.951 lower. Therefore, policymakers should focus on reducing income inequality to tackle inequity in access, and strengthen PC (by increasing accessibility and better-developing its workforce) as this can influence inequity in unmet need.
Keywords
MEDICAL-CARE, UNITED-STATES, SERVICES, POPULATION, ACCESS, COUNTRIES, INCOME, INEQUALITIES, IMMIGRANTS, INDICATORS

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MLA
Detollenaere, Jens et al. “Do We Reap What We Sow? : Exploring the Association Between the Strength of European Primary Healthcare Systems and Inequity in Unmet Need.” PLOS ONE 12.1 (2017): n. pag. Print.
APA
Detollenaere, J., Hanssens, L., Vyncke, V., De Maeseneer, J., & Willems, S. (2017). Do we reap what we sow? : exploring the association between the strength of European primary healthcare systems and inequity in unmet need. PLOS ONE, 12(1).
Chicago author-date
Detollenaere, Jens, Lise Hanssens, Veerle Vyncke, Jan De Maeseneer, and Sara Willems. 2017. “Do We Reap What We Sow? : Exploring the Association Between the Strength of European Primary Healthcare Systems and Inequity in Unmet Need.” Plos One 12 (1).
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Detollenaere, Jens, Lise Hanssens, Veerle Vyncke, Jan De Maeseneer, and Sara Willems. 2017. “Do We Reap What We Sow? : Exploring the Association Between the Strength of European Primary Healthcare Systems and Inequity in Unmet Need.” Plos One 12 (1).
Vancouver
1.
Detollenaere J, Hanssens L, Vyncke V, De Maeseneer J, Willems S. Do we reap what we sow? : exploring the association between the strength of European primary healthcare systems and inequity in unmet need. PLOS ONE. 2017;12(1).
IEEE
[1]
J. Detollenaere, L. Hanssens, V. Vyncke, J. De Maeseneer, and S. Willems, “Do we reap what we sow? : exploring the association between the strength of European primary healthcare systems and inequity in unmet need,” PLOS ONE, vol. 12, no. 1, 2017.
@article{8500785,
  abstract     = {Access to healthcare is inequitably distributed across different socioeconomic groups. Several vulnerable groups experience barriers in accessing healthcare, compared to their more wealthier counterparts. In response to this, many countries use resources to strengthen their primary care (PC) system, because in many European countries PC is the first entry point to the healthcare system and plays a central role in the coordination of patients through the healthcare system. However it is unclear whether this strengthening of PC leads to less inequity in access to the whole healthcare system. This study investigates the association between strength indicators of PC and inequity in unmet need by merging data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions database (2013) and the Primary Healthcare Activity Monitor for Europe (2010). The analyses reveal a significant association between the Gini coefficient for income inequality and inequity in unmet need. When the Gini coefficient of a country is one SD higher, the social inequity in unmet need in that particular country will be 4.960 higher. Furthermore, the accessibility and the workforce development of a country's PC system is inverse associated with the social inequity of unmet need. More specifically, when the access- and workforce development indicator of a country PC system are one standard deviation higher, the inequity in unmet healthcare needs are respectively 2.200 and 4.951 lower. Therefore, policymakers should focus on reducing income inequality to tackle inequity in access, and strengthen PC (by increasing accessibility and better-developing its workforce) as this can influence inequity in unmet need.},
  articleno    = {e0169274},
  author       = {Detollenaere, Jens and Hanssens, Lise and Vyncke, Veerle and De Maeseneer, Jan and Willems, Sara},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  journal      = {PLOS ONE},
  keywords     = {MEDICAL-CARE,UNITED-STATES,SERVICES,POPULATION,ACCESS,COUNTRIES,INCOME,INEQUALITIES,IMMIGRANTS,INDICATORS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {13},
  title        = {Do we reap what we sow? : exploring the association between the strength of European primary healthcare systems and inequity in unmet need},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/0169274},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2017},
}

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