In the absence of priority criteria, waiting times are an implicit rationing instrument where the absence or limited use of prices creates an excess of demand. Even in the presence of priority criteria, waiting times may be unfair because they reduce health care demand of patients in lower socio-economic conditions due to high opportunity costs of time or a decay in their health level. Significant evidence has shown a relationship between socioeconomic status and the length of waiting time. The first phase of the study involved an extensive review of the existent literature for the period of 2002–2016 in the main databases (Scopus, PubMed and Science Direct). Twenty-eight met the eligibility criteria. The 27 papers were described and classified. The e mpirical objective of this study was to determine whether socioeconomic characteristics affect waiting time for different health services in the Italian national health system. The services studied were specialist visits, diagnostics tests and elective surgeries. A classification tree and logistic regression models were implemented. Data from the 2013 Italian Health National Survey were used. The analysis found heterogeneous results for different types of service. Individuals with lower education and economic resources have a higher risk of experiencing excessive waiting times for diagnostic and specialist visits. For elective surgery, socioeconomic inequalities are present but appear to be lower.

Socioeconomic status and waiting times for health services: An international literature review and evidence from the Italian National Health System

Landi, Stefano;
2018-01-01

Abstract

In the absence of priority criteria, waiting times are an implicit rationing instrument where the absence or limited use of prices creates an excess of demand. Even in the presence of priority criteria, waiting times may be unfair because they reduce health care demand of patients in lower socio-economic conditions due to high opportunity costs of time or a decay in their health level. Significant evidence has shown a relationship between socioeconomic status and the length of waiting time. The first phase of the study involved an extensive review of the existent literature for the period of 2002–2016 in the main databases (Scopus, PubMed and Science Direct). Twenty-eight met the eligibility criteria. The 27 papers were described and classified. The e mpirical objective of this study was to determine whether socioeconomic characteristics affect waiting time for different health services in the Italian national health system. The services studied were specialist visits, diagnostics tests and elective surgeries. A classification tree and logistic regression models were implemented. Data from the 2013 Italian Health National Survey were used. The analysis found heterogeneous results for different types of service. Individuals with lower education and economic resources have a higher risk of experiencing excessive waiting times for diagnostic and specialist visits. For elective surgery, socioeconomic inequalities are present but appear to be lower.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3722880
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