Furthermore, poorer people that become ill are 51% more like to die within a year than the most fortunate members of society. CM compared figures from its members’ health insurance files with fiscal statistics from the General Statistics Directorate. They also looked at how people from different areas (rich, poor and average) consume health care.
CM’s Chairman Luc Van Gorp told journalists that “We are anything but equal when it comes to health”.
Those from the lowest income group are 51% more likely to die within a year than someone from the highest income group.
Furthermore, they are 55% more like to be declared unfit to work (for a perid of less than a year) and have a 97% greater chance of being declared an invalid (after 1 year of being unable to work).
“Greater efforts should be made”
The price of health care is an issue, but not the only factor. For example a cervical cancer test is free. However, women in poverty are 19% less likely to take one.
"We should make certain target groups more aware of the importance of such tests”, Mr Van Gorp said.
Lifestyle is also a contributing factor. For example, poorer people are 31% more likely to contracted the smoking-related disease COPD.
"Closing the health gap is the responsibility of the whole of society.”
Flandersnews.be / Expatica