Health Care Services and the Elderly: Utilization and Satisfaction in the Aftermath of the Turkish Health Transformation Program
Cilasun, Seyit Mumin
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With the implementation of the health transformation program, Turkey has gone through substantial changes in its health system in the last decade. This study relies on two nationally representative data sets to investigate health service utilization and satisfaction of the elderly. In particular, it examines the share of elderly who have an unmet need for medical care and who could not afford a medical examination or treatment over the years 2006 to 2015, using data from the Turkish Survey of Income and Living Conditions. It also examines the utilization of health services and satisfaction from these services by the elderly in years 2004 to 2015 using data from the Turkish Life Satisfaction Survey. This study finds that utilization has increased and, coinciding with the introduction of the family medicine system, the percentage of patients choosing primary care facilities has increased. The share of the elderly with unmet need and those who could not afford health care have declined. Notwithstanding, overall satisfaction increased only until 2011-2012. Understanding the utilization and satisfaction of the elderly is important, because along with many other countries, the population is aging in Turkey. In the near future, health care needs of the elderly will have a higher priority on the agenda of policy makers.
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