Income-Related Inequality in the Use of Dental Services in Finland
The aim of this article is to measure and explain income-related inequalities in dentist utilisation. We apply concentration and horizontal inequity indices and the decomposition method to decompose observed inequalities into sources. The data are from the Finnish Health Care Survey of 1996. We examine three measures of utilisation: (a) the total number of visits; (b) the probability of visiting a dentist; and (c) the conditional number of positive visits for (i) visits to all dentists, (ii) those to public dentists and (iii) those to private dentists. The results for the whole sample show pro-poor inequities in all three measures of utilisation in public care, whereas in the first two measures there are pro-rich inequities nationwide and in private care. Among those entitled to age-based subsidised dental care, we find equality and equity in all three measures of utilisation nationwide. The two main factors related to pro-rich distributions of use are income and dentist
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