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The Determinants of Health Care Utilization in Portugal: An Approach with Count Data Models

Summary

This work aims to identify the determinants of health care utilization in Portugal and to quantify their effects. A clear idea about this may help the policy debate on the delivery and organization of health services. Toward this end, we developed an approach based on count data models. We found that demographic factors influence health care demand; unemployment strongly increases utilization, and income effects are only observed for frequent users. Furthermore, chronic conditions increase demand for health services, and personal habits have mixed effects. Both private insurance and the use of subsystems increase the utilization.

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Correspondence to João Cotter Salvado.

Additional information

I am very grateful to Pedro Portugal who helped me throughout this paper as my master advisor. Additionally, I would like to thank to Pedro Pita Barros, Mafalda Sampaio, Miguel Câmara and Pedro Robalo for their important suggestions and corrections.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Salvado, J.C. The Determinants of Health Care Utilization in Portugal: An Approach with Count Data Models. Swiss J Economics Statistics 144, 437–458 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399261

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JEL-Classification

  • I10
  • I12
  • C13
  • C25
  • C52

Keywords

  • health care utilization
  • count data models
  • Portugal