The aim of the study was to evaluate the success of Finnish health care policy in establishing socioeconomic equity in the use of hospital inpatient care.
We studied the use of short-term (<30 days) care at Finnish general hospitals among those aged 25 or over, psychiatric and obstetric patients excluded.
The data on service utilization were obtained from the 1988 Finnish Hospital Discharge Register.
Patient data were linked with socioeconomic indicators from the 1970-1987 population censuses by personal identification number.
The data on population at risk were obtained from the 1987 census.
Hospital utilization was measured by annual risk of hospitalization, discharge rate, and inpatient days.
The socioeconomic distribution of hospital utilization according to need was assessed by mortality and morbidity data.
The same data were used to calculate inequity indices.
Low socioeconomic groups used more hospital services than high in all age-groups and both genders.
The socioeconomic differences in hospital utilization were similar to the gradients in death rate or to the prevalences of poor self-perceived health and limiting long-standing illness.
In relation to need, the lower socioeconomic groups used at least as much inpatient care as the higher.
This study compared overall hospital use with overall mortality and morbidity.
It did not address possible socioeconomic differences in hospital use by causes of hospitalization or the quality of hospital services provided.
Mots-clés Pascal : Accessibilité, Soin, Hôpital, Utilisation, Statut socioéconomique, Classe sociale, Homme, Finlande, Système santé, Europe
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Accessibility, Care, Hospital, Use, Socioeconomic status, Social class, Human, Finland, Health system, Europe
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0451742
Code Inist : 002B30A01B. Création : 01/03/1996.