Medical care consumption by older people in the low-income brackets

20/05/2008 15:00

In 2006 more 55 to 80-year-olds living on long-term low incomes consulted medical specialists and physiotherapists than people in the same age category with incomes above the low-income threshold. There was virtually no difference between these two groups with respect to GP contacts. In the 55-80 age category, 3 percent have long-term low incomes. It appears that education level hardly affects consumption of medical care by older people.

Medical specialist consultation rate higher, GP consultation rate unchanged

Seven in every ten over-55s on long-term low incomes consulted a medical specialist at least once a year. Just over half of people with incomes above the low-income threshold consulted medical specialists. The GP consultation rate of older, long-term low-income earners, on the other hand, is more or less the same as that of more their wealthier counterparts.

Medical care consumption among 55 to 80-year-olds by income position, 2004/2006

Medical care consumption among 55 to 80-year-olds by income position, 2004/2006

More contacts with physiotherapist

Over one third of the older population living on low incomes consulted a physiotherapist at least once a year. The physiotherapist consultation rate was much lower among older people above the low-income threshold. In this group nearly one quarter consulted a physiotherapist.

Education level hardly relevant

Next to income, education level is often used to categorise people in various socio-economic strata. Against all odds, the level of education of older people appears to be irrelevant when it comes to consulting a GP, physiotherapist or medical specialist. As many lower as higher educated 55 to 80-year-olds use health care facilities.

Medical care consumption among 55 to 80-year-olds by level of education, 2004/2006

Medical care consumption among 55 to 80-year-olds by level of education, 2004/2006

Marleen Wingen