February 17, 2023
Commercial medical serves are more frequently used by low-income families. Such a paradoxical conclusion was made as a result of a study carried out at the Institute of Economics KarRC RAS. Researchers conducted a sociological survey of households and studied the consumer activity of Karelian citizens in the market of commercial medical services.
Scientists conducted a sociological survey of households in the Republic of Karelia and analyzed the demand of the population for socially significant commercial services. Special attention was given to medicine. Researchers developed a typology of consumer activity in the market of commercial medical services. Their finding was that low-income households living in small towns and rural settlements exhibited high activity in the use of fee-based medical services. As the per capita income increases, the share of respective households in the high consumer activity group decreases.

"The financial wellbeing of the family influences the health status and the possibility to avoid neglected diseases. Well-to-do families can plan the use of medical services, being able to visit a doctor in the district or regional centers even if there is no access to free medical care in the places where they live. <...> The consumer practices of low-income families are not based on self-preservation. Shortage of material resources prevents them from planning on timely use of medical care. As a rule, health problems accumulate, forcing them to resort to commercial medical services. This problem is aggravated by the place where the families live. Small towns and villages do not provide the population with the necessary supply and quality of medical services, - reads a scientific article published in the journal Narodonaselenie (Population).

More details on the findings of this study and the possible solutions were shared in the Contemporaries program on Sampo TV 360 channel by Tatyana Morozova, Doctor of Economics, Director of the Institute of Economics KarRC RAS, one of the authors of the study.

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