Women were more likely than men to deny themselves health care services due to costs according to the Icelandic Health Interview Survey from 2015. People were least likely to report that they needed mental health care but most likely to deny themselves such care due to cost. People were less likely to have denied themselves health care services the higher their income.
People least likely to afford mental health care
In 2015 around 60% of people reported need for medical care, dental care or prescription medicine. Some 19% of people who needed dental care could not afford it, 9.5% refused themselves prescription medicine and 8% medical care. Only 22% reported a need for mental health care and a third of these were not able to afford it.
Women more likely than men to refuse themselves healthcare services due to costs
Women were more likely than men to need health care services, and also more likely to go without it due to costs. 38% of women in need of mental health care denied themselves such services compared with 25% of men. Some 22% of women and 17% of men who needed dental care were unable to afford it. Around 11% of women denied themselves prescription medicine on account of costs. The same holds for 5% of men. Just below 10% of women and 6% of men were unable to afford medical care.
Low income earners more likely to deny themselves health care services
There is no relationship between income and the need for medical care, dental care or prescription medicine, except mental health care. However, there is a clear relationship between income and being unable to afford health care. People with lower income are less likely to afford health care. In the bottom quintile of the income distribution some 17% of those in need of medical care were unable to afford it, 33% dental care, 17% prescription medicine and 45% mental health care. In the top quintile only 3% were unable to afford medical care, 8% dental care, 3% prescription drugs, and 21% mental health care.
About the European Health Interview Survey
Health interview surveys offer comprehensive data on the health status of a population and health-related topics based on answers by respondents of a representative sample of the population. The Icelandic survey was conducted in autumn 2015. The sample consisted of 5,700 individuals drawn randomly from the population registry. This yielded responses from 4,001 persons, a response rate of 70.2%.
Note regarding interpretation
The proportion denying themselves health care is estimated relative to those reporting a need for such services.