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Revista Costarricense de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1409-1429


LACLE MURRAY, Adriana. ¿Existe equidad de acceso a los servicios de salud para el adulto mayor según zona de residencia (urbano/rural)?. Rev. costarric. salud pública [online]. 1999, vol.8, n.15, pp.57-63. ISSN 1409-1429.

The access to health services has been thoroughly recognized as one of the variables that have a great impact in the health of a population. In Costa Rica, it has been demonstrated that the difficulty to access health services is a risk for morbimortality for infants. However, in the other end of the population pyramid, the elderly, this has not been studied. The objective of this study was to illustrate the use of the diferent informal and formal health service available for the elderly and if there existed diferrence in relation to their residence area (urban/rural). This study was carried out under the frame of the "Determinants of Healthy Ageing Project" in an urban zone (Cantón Desamparados) and another rural (Corralillo District, Cantón Central Cartago). The 92% of the interviewed (n = 180) had access to a doctor or to Clinic independently of the zone of residence. The health personnel that was most visited was the general doctor, and two thirds consulted him at least once in the year, with an average of 3.5 times/year, without significant differences between zone or sex. This demonstrated an acceptable coverage of this type of attention. The significant diference by zone. There was an odds ratio of 3 not having access to the services of a specialist for those that lived in the rural area in comparison with the urban, a risk of 2.84 of not being hospitalized if the interviewed lived in the rural zone. The habit of the regular cheking-up was also less in the rural area with an opportunity of risk of 2.3 of not having it in relationship to the urban zone. It seems that the existence of a health service near their homes does not guarantee the accesibility for the elderly. If we believe in the EQUALITY to the right to health services, it is necesary to investigate the reasons of this disadvantage that was found for the rural area in relationship to the health services acces, in order to find a solution.

Keywords : Elderly; Health services; urban and rural settings.

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