Access to healthcare in Belgium is, for the population as a whole, relatively good. However, there are large disparities in access between socio-economic groups. While in 2017, 2% of the adult population, self-reported unmet needs for medical care for financial reasons (and 3.5% for dental care), this number varied from 6.7% for persons in the lowest income quintile, 2.1% in the second quintile, and low to zero from the third quintile onwards. This gap between the poorest and richest quintiles is among the most pronounced in the European Union. Furthermore, a significant deterioration of the situation of persons in the lowest income quintile is observed between 2011 and 2017, while no significant difference is observed in other quintile categories. Unmet healthcare needs are thus mainly encountered by the least well-off. Little is known concerning the characteristics of those with access problems, and there is no
clear insight into factors that may explain these inequalities, and the increasing trend over time. This study intends to help fill this gap.
Authors: S. Cès, R. Baeten
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