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Social justice, access and quality of healthcare in an age of austerity: users' perspective from rural Iceland.
Int J Circumpolar Health. 2017;76(1):1347476
Publication Type
Sonja S Gustafsdottir
Kristjana Fenger
Sigridur Halldorsdottir
Thoroddur Bjarnason
Int J Circumpolar Health. 2017;76(1):1347476
Publication Type
Aged, 80 and over
Attitude to Health
Health Equity - statistics & numerical data
Health Services Accessibility - statistics & numerical data
Primary Health Care - organization & administration
Rural health services - organization & administration
Rural Population - statistics & numerical data
Social Justice - statistics & numerical data
Iceland is sparsely populated but social justice and equity has been emphasised within healthcare. The aim of the study is to examine healthcare services in Fjallabyggð, in rural northern Iceland, from users' perspective and evaluate social justice, access and quality of healthcare in an age of austerity. Mixed-method approach with transformative design was used. First, data were collected with questionnaires (response rate of 53% [N=732] in 2009 and 30% [N=415] in 2012), and analysed statistically, followed by 10 interviews with healthcare users (2009 and 2014). The results were integrated and interpreted within Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model. There was significantly less satisfaction with accessibility and variety of healthcare services in 2012 after services downsizing. Solid primary healthcare, good local elderly care, some freedom in healthcare choice and reliable emergency services were considered fundamental for life in a rural area. Equal access to healthcare is part of a fundamental human right. In times of economic downturn, people in rural areas, who are already vulnerable, may become even more vulnerable and disadvantaged, seriously threatening social justice and equity. With severe cutbacks in vitally important healthcare services people may eventually choose to self-migrate.
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PubMed ID
28762300 View in PubMed
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