Accessibility and use of primary health care : how conclusive is the social-economical situation in Antwerp?
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Acta clinica Belgica. - Gent, 1997, currens
, p. 100-104
University of Antwerp
Background: The percentage of households that delays medical assistance due to financial reasons is slowly increasing. Moreover, some groups of the population do not ever find their way to primary health care and end up unnecessarily in the emergency department or with specialists. This study wants to examine how primary health care can be made accessible to these groups. Aim: In this study, we aim to discover whether in a city such as Antwerp primary health care is accessible to everyone. Method: The statistics were collected from the Health Care Survey done by the Welfare Services Antwerp in cooperation with the City of Antwerp. The questions were asked in three different ways: a postal questionnaire, a telephone questionnaire and a face-to-face interview. Results: We determined that people who live on social welfare delay medical help due to financial reasons more frequently than the global Antwerp population. They often do not have a regular general practitioner (GP). Especially single parents, house-wives and house-husbands, job-seekers, incapacitated people unable to work, unskilled workers and foreigners are among the vulnerable groups where accessibility to primary health care is a concern. Conclusion: If we hope to improve the accessibility of primary health care, we must first and foremost inform the above-mentioned groups of the insurability and how this is applied. When this is fulfilled, it will be easier for the GP to receive this vulnerable group within the primary care system, so that the help of specialized care, which is often unnecessary, can be reduced.