Unmet health care needs in Brazil: an investigation about the reasons for not seeking health care

Herein, unmet health care needs, defined by the authors as the situation when an individual feels the need but does not seek healthcare, are studied from the data of the health questionnaires of the 1998, 2003 and 2008 rounds of the National Household Sampling Survey (Pnad). From 1998 to 2008, the percentage of the population with healthcare needs during the two weeks prior to the interview did not change, remaining at around 17%, whilst the share with unmet healthcare needs fell from 3.5% to 2.9%. There were also changes in the reasons chosen by the interviewees to justify why they did not seek healthcare. The percentage of those who said they could not afford it decreased though it is still the reason given most frequently thereby boosting the percentages of those alleging problems with the healthcare system, such as long waiting times and a lack of professionals and services. People with less income or schooling, residing in the poorer regions of the country or in rural areas, blacks, males, adults, workers, people living with other people with unmet healthcare needs or that have not been to an appointment with a doctor in the last year, and those without health plans, are less likely to seek healthcare and therefore stand a higher chance of having unmet healthcare needs.

Unmet healthcare needs

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