On population’s self-assessment of the state of heath in 2009

29.03.2010

Central Statistical Bureau has compiled the Community Statistics of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) data on self-perceived health of the population aged 16 and over. EU-SILC survey (it was carried out in March – July) does not show that self-perceived health of the population has worsened.

Self-perceived health of population in 2008 and 2009 (in per cent)

2008

2009


To compare the results of the surveys of 2008 and 2009, it may be concluded that the number of persons perceiving their health as good has grown, and in the meantime the number of persons perceiving their health condition as fair has reduced. ‘’Bad’’ and ‘’very bad’’ self-perceived health has changed slightly.

The answers on self-perceived health given by men differ from the answers given by women. Women perceived their health as ‘’good’’ and ‘’very good’’ more rarely than men, but more often characterised it as ‘’fair’’ and even ‘’bad’’. Considering the diverse age structure of both genders (women live longer than men), it is not surprising.

Self-perceived health varies in different age groups. The most optimistic self-perceived health was recorded among young people aged 16-24. 83% of tem perceive their health as ‘’good’’ or ‘’very good’’. But 43% of population aged 65 years and over perceive their health as ‘’bad’’ or ‘’very bad’’.

Rather bad self-perceived health among the average indicators of the country were recorded in Latgale region, there in 2009 one fifth (20%) of the population perceived their health as ''bad'' and ''very bad''. Income of the Latgale population always was the lowest in the country and that, indisputably, has influenced the ability to cover medical expenses. Noticeably worse self-perceived health was in 1st quintile or in the bottom income group, there such perception was received from 21% of persons aged 16 years and over, but in 2nd quintile from almost one third of the respondents - 31% ( in 2nd quintile there is high share of pensioners).

The population attitude towards own healthcare and health prophylaxis has slightly improved. The share of respondents, who during the last 12 months needed medical examination or a treatment for a health problem (except dentist), but did not receive it, has reduced from 19% in 2008 to 16% in 2009. In the same time the share of population, who did not receive medical examination or treatment because could not afford it, has grown from 6.6% to 7.9%.

‘’Was there any time during the last twelve months when, in your opinion, you personally needed a medical examination or treatment for a health problem (except dentist) but you did not receive it?’’(in per cent)

2008

2009

All population aged 16 and over

100

100

No, there was no such situation

81.1

84.2

Yes, at least once

18.9

15.8

Of which due to following reasons:

Could not afford to (too expensive)

6.6

7.9

Waiting list

2.4

1.3

I Could not take time because of work, care for children or for others

3.6

1.8

Too far to travel/ no means of transportation

0.7

0.5

Fear of doctor/hospitals/examination/treatment

0.4

0.4

Wanted to wait and see if problem got better on its own

4.2

3.3

Did not know any good doctor or specialist

0.6

0.4

Other reasons

0.5

0.2


 In 2009 half of the persons who refused form the medical treatment as main reason mentioned ‘’could not afford to (too expensive)’’, but a year before share of these persons exceeded slightly more than a one third (35%). It can be explained with the fact that in March 2009 the prices of outpatient services grew, but the prices of hospital services, in turn, doubled.

The groups of the poorest population had the greatest problems to cover the health care expenses.

 Share of population aged 16 years and over, who did not receive medical treatment because could not afford it, among various income quintile groups in 2009 (in per cent)

 

 

The share of persons aged 16 years and over, who could not afford dental examination or treatment, has increased from 11% in 2008 to 13% in 2009. Persons living in households of lower income level face this problem more often.

Share of population aged 16 years and over, who did not receive dental examination or treatment because could not afford it, among various income quintile groups in 2009 (in per cent) 

 


 

Prepared by Social Statistics Department
Edmunds Vaskis
Tel. 67366908

 

Methodological explanations

During the EU-SILC 2009 operation 5797 households were surveyed. The questions on their state of health were asked to all household members aged 16 and over. Totally 12207 respondents were surveyed, and their answers were extrapolated to all population at corresponding age.

Quintile – one fifth of the household number, which are grouped in growing sequence by disposable income per one household member. 1st quintile represents the poorest households, but 5th quintile - the richest.