More than one third of Latvia inhabitants find it difficult to pay for healthcare services

02.06.2017

Last year, 80.1 % of Latvian households had used health care services during the last 12 months. Survey on the use of health care services in 2016 conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that out of the number of households that have used health care services during the last 12 months 35.6 % covered expenses related to the health care services to all household members with difficulty or great difficulty and 45.4 % were able to afford to pay for these services fairly easily or with some difficulty.

The proportion of rural households using health care services was 16.3 percentage points smaller than that in urban areas (68.6 % and 84.9 %, respectively). The greatest share of households using health care services was recorded in Riga – 90.7 %. Out of the number, less than one third (30.2 %) paid for health care services with difficulty or great difficulty, almost a half (47.5 %) managed to cover these expenses fairly easily or with some difficulty, whereas more than one fifth (22.3 %) did it easily or very easily.

Among all Latvia regions, the smallest proportion (69.3 %) of households using health care services was observed in Zemgale. Moreover, almost half or 44.7 % of these households pointed that were able to afford to pay for healthcare services provided for all household members with difficulty and only 16.9 % admitted that cover these payments easily. In other Latvia regions, health care was used by 72 % of Vidzeme households, 78.8 % of Kurzeme households and 79.2 % of Latgale households.

Analysis of the use of health care services by household type shows that slightly more than 70 % of single person households used health care services.  The greatest proportion of households using these services were recorded among those with children – the highest share among households consisting of couple with one child (87.2 %) and the smallest among those consisting of one adult with children (80.1 %). The greatest difficulty to be able to afford to pay for health care services provided for all household members was faced by single elderly people (aged over 65) – 51.9 % of such households paid for respective services with difficulty or great difficulty. Couples with one child found it difficult to cover these expenses the less commonly. Only 19.3 % admitted that cover expenses that are necessary to provide health care services to all household members with difficulty, whereas 26.2 % mentioned that do that easily.

Use of health care services in households during the last 12 months by household type; 2016
(per cent)

Share of households that had used health care services during the last 12 months

Out of households using health care services

Household ability to cover expenses that are necessary to provide health care services to all household members (sum of answers 100 %)

With difficulty or with great difficulty

Fairly easily or with some difficulty

Easily or very easily

All households

80.1

35.6

45.4

19.0

Urban areas

84.9

34.7

46.0

19.3

Rural areas

68.6

38.0

43.7

18.3

Regions

 

 

 

 

Riga

90.7

30.2

47.5

22.3

Pierīga

72.6

35.1

47.8

17.1

Vidzeme

72.0

36.8

48.9

14.3

Kurzeme

78.8

36.6

41.7

21.7

Zemgale

69.3

44.7

38.4

16.9

Latgale

79.2

42.3

43.1

14.6

Household type

 

 

 

 

Single person aged16–64

71.4

33.3

37.3

29.4

Single person aged 65+

74.9

51.9

33.2

14.8

Couple without children

83.0

29.0

42.9

28.1

One adult with children

80.1

36.1

47.4

16.5

Couple with one child

87.2

19.3

54.5

26.2

Couple with two children

86.3

20.9

53.7

25.4

Couple with three and more children

82.9

28.5

44.7

26.9

Quintile group

 

 

 

 

1st (bottom, poorest households)

69.9

49.6

33.1

17.2

2nd

79.5

52.6

34.4

13.1

3rd

83.6

39.9

45.3

14.8

4th

83.7

25.4

54.7

19.9

5th (top, richest households)

83.6

13.4

56.9

29.6

Analysis of the data by household income shows that the smallest share of households using health care services was formed by households with the lowest income (1st quintile group1). In 2016, 69.9 % of the 1st quintile group households had used health care services. Almost half (49.6 %) of the households found it difficult to cover expenses that are necessary to provide health care services to all household members and only 17.2 % did it easily or very easily. The higher the household income, the greater the share of households using health care services – from 79.5 % in the 2nd quintile group to 83.6–83.7 % in the 3rd–5th quintile group. However, the greatest difficulty to afford to pay for healthcare services was faced by the 2nd quintile group households 52.6 % of which did it with difficulty and only 13.1 % managed it easily.

More information acquired within the survey is available in the CSB publication “Income and Living Conditions in Latvia 2016”.

Methodological explanations

1 Quintile group is one fifth (20 %) of the number of surveyed households grouped in increasing sequence according to the disposable income per one household member. The lowest (1st or bottom) quintile group includes one fifth of the households with the lowest income, while the highest (5th or top) – one fifth of the households with the highest income.

 

 

 

Media requests:
Sanda Rieksta
Information and Communication Section
media [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv
Phone: +371 67366621, +371 27880666
www.twitter.com/CSB_Latvia
www.facebook.com/csplatvija

 

More information on data:
Income and Living Conditions Statistics Section
Viktors Veretjanovs
Viktors [dot] Veretjanovs [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv
Phone: +371 67366609