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  • Open Access

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

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics2008144:BF03399261

  • Published:


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.


  • health care utilization
  • count data models
  • Portugal