One fifth of Latvia population has never consulted family doctor during the past 12 months

09.05.2018

Data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in 2017, 20.1 % of population aged 16 and over in Latvia have never consulted a family doctor or general practitioner1 during the past 12 months, and almost half – medical specialist (48.7 %) or dentist (48.9 %).

Out of the surveyed people, 36 % consulted general practitioner 1–2 times, 25.6 % did it 3–5 times and 18.3 % did it six times or more. Medical specialist or dentist once or twice was visited by 30.2 % and 36.1 %, while more than twice medical specialist was visited by 21 % and dentist by 15.1 %.

Number of consultations with doctor in 2017
 (as per cent)

 

With age, people consult family doctor or medical specialist more whereas dentist less

In 2017, 27.9 % of young people aged 16–24 indicated that had never consulted general practitioner during the past 12 months, 47.5 % did not consult dentist and 62.7 % medical specialist. Majority of young people consulted doctor once or twice a year.

Out of the people aged 25–49, 24.9 % had never consulted general practitioner during the past 12 months, while 45.4 % did it once or twice. Compared to young people, population in this age group consulted doctor more often. Almost half of the people at this age (48.1 %) indicated that consulted medical specialist, of which 31.1 % did it 1–2 times and 12.4 % did it 3–5 times. In its turn, 59.4 % of the surveyed population consulted dentist, majority of which did it once or twice.

People aged 50 and over consult doctor more frequently – in 2017, 82.9 % of people aged 50–64 and 88.2 % of people aged 65 and over consulted general practitioner at least once. Moreover, the bulk of people consulted family doctor several times. Out of the population aged 50–64, 30.3 % consulted general practitioner 3–5 times and 20.2 % did it 6 times or more. The share among elderly was even higher – one third of people aged 65 and over consulted general practitioner 3–5 times and 35.7 % did it 6 times or more. However, population aged 50 and over tend to consult dentist less frequently – 51.6 % of people aged 50–64 and 32.1 % of people aged 65 and over consulted dentist at least once.

Females tend to consult doctor more often than males

Last year, 86.3 % of females consulted general practitioner at least once and 57.3 % of females consulted medical specialist at least once – 14.3 and 13.6 percentage points more than males, respectively. The gap observed in dental visits is smaller – 55.1 % of females and 46 % of males visited dentist.

Consultations with doctor by gender; 2017
(as per cent)

 

Majority of population in Latvia assess their heath as good or fair

In 2017, the bulk of population aged 16 and over assessed their state of health as good (40.8 %) or fair (38.9 %). Only 3.5 % of the people at this age perceived their general health as very good.The most optimistic self-perceived health was recorded among young people aged 16–24, as 85.5 % of them perceived their health as good or very good. In its turn, the lowest health assessment was recorded among respondents aged 65 and over. In 2017, 41.7 % of them perceived their health as bad or very bad.

In 2017, 42.7 % of population aged 16 and over admitted that have a chronic (long-standing) illness or condition. Out of the respondents, 41.4 % mentioned that in at least the past 6 months health problems have limited their everyday activities.

The limitation in activities because of health problems are more common starting from the age of 50. In 2017, only 49.8 % of people aged 50–64 and 24.2 % of those aged 65 and over were able to say that in at least the past 6 months they have not been limited in their everyday activities because of health problems.

 

More information on population health is available in the collection of statistics Income and living conditions in Latvia in 2017.

The data on self-perceived health status are acquired via CSB survey on income and living conditions of 2017. The survey covered 6 thousand households in which persons aged at least 16 at the end of 2016 were interviewed.

 

1Family doctor or general practitioner – is a physician (medical doctor) who does not limit his/her practice to certain disease categories and assumes the responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care or referring to another health care professional.

 

Media requests:
Communication Section
E-mail: media [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv
Phone: +371 67366621, +371 27880666

More information on data:
Viktors Veretjanovs
Social Statistics Methodology Section
E-mail: Viktors [dot] Veretjanovs [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv
Phone: 67366609