Determinants of access to healthcare in European countries

Miguel Amaro, Luís Miguel Costa



Purpose: This study aimed to analyse the percentage of European citizens who were unable to access healthcare for financial reasons, due to waiting lists or distance. In addition, this study attempted to understand whether there are differences between men and women in terms of access to healthcare at European level.

Methodology: This is an empirical study which analysed 19 European countries between 2008 and 2020.

Findings: The results emphasise the importance of health care provision, health expenditure and macroeconomic indicators in this issue. European citizens' access to health care is positively and statistically significantly influenced by the number of doctors per 100,000 inhabitants, the number of beds per 100,000 inhabitants, health spending in relation to GDP, the increase in the proportion of health spending coming from voluntary health insurance, GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power and the reduction in countries' public debt. The results also seem to suggest that there are no statistically significant differences between men and women in terms of access to healthcare at European level.

Originality: This study is important for health managers and policymakers as it can provide important clues for the adoption of health policies that are more effective in eliminating barriers to access to healthcare for European citizens.

Keywords: Access to healthcare, Number of doctors per 100,000 residents, Number of beds per 100,000 residents.

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