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Financial barriers to accessing primary health care in New Zealand

Santosh Jatrana, University of Otago
Peter Crampton, University of Otago

Aims This paper aims to investigate the demographic, socioeconomic, health-behaviour and health determinants of financial barriers to access to primary health care (visiting general practitioner , dentists and buying prescription drugs) in New Zealand. Methods SoFIE-health, which is an add-on to the Statistics New Zealand-led Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE), provided data for this study. SoFIE is national representative survey of 22,000 adults. Logistic regression is used to predict the factors associated with financial barriers to access. Main results The results of this study demonstrate that cost remained a reason for deferring primary health care in New Zealand. Although cost affected many subgroups, females, those with more individual deprivation characteristics (5+) and those reporting the worst health status in terms of high levels of psychological distress and having more than two co-morbid diseases were the most likely to have deferred needed primary care due to financial barriers.

Presented in Poster Session 4: Poster Session 4: health and ageing