Utilization of Primary and Secondary Medical Care among Disadvantaged Populations: A Log-Linear Model Analysis

  •  Gregory Din    
  •  Zinaida Zugman    
  •  Alla Khashper    


Aim: We examined how, where an overall population is covered by universal health insurance, characteristics of disadvantaged populations interact to influence inequality in primary and secondary medical care utilization.

Subject and Methods: Disadvantaged populations, the focus of the study, were defined as populations who have lower socio-economic status (SES), who are elderly and/or reside in a peripheral area. Data from the 2009 Israeli National Health Survey were analysed using log-linear models to estimate utilization of medical care.

Results: The main findings were: a) pro-poor utilization of primary medical care among elderly populations, with higher odds ratios for low SES populations in the periphery; (b) lack of interaction between SES and primary medical care utilization among younger populations, between SES and secondary medical care utilization among the elderly and pro-rich utilization of secondary medical care among younger populations who did not regularly visit general practitioners (GP); (c) the odds ratios of secondary medical care utilization increased as SES decreased for both elderly and younger populations who also regularly visited a GP.

Conclusion: Potential policy implications for disadvantaged populations, regarding possible inequality in primary and secondary medical care utilization, can be drawn using log-linear model analysis of interactions among characteristics (SES, age, location) of disadvantaged populations.

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