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Social and health indicators as a measure of access to primary heathcare in Brazil

Indicadores sociais e de saúde como medida de acesso aos cuidados primários no Brasil

The aim was to investigate the influence of social and health indicators on access to Primary Healthcare in the Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Area, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Secondary data of 34 municipalities were analyzed; the dependent variables were three basic healthcare indicators: coverage of the Family Health Strategy; coverage of scheduled first dental appointment and mean annual number of appointments in medical specialties per inhabitant. All independent variables were analyzed using Principal Component Analysis, with VARIMAX rotation and Kaiser normalization. Student's t-test was used to compare the components originated by the factor analysis in relation to the primary care indicators with a significance of 5%. The development conditions had significantly greater weight in cities with low FHS coverage (p=0.022). The socioeconomic conditions were weighted significantly higher in municipalities with high dental appointment coverage (p=0.030) and with greater mean number of medical appointments (p=0.022). Socioeconomic and development conditions may be crucial to the identification of municipalities with the best and worst primary care indicators.

Health status indicators; Social indicators; Primary care

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