An Application of the Behavioral Model to the Utilization of Health Care Services in Turkey: A Focus on Equity
The aim of this study is to investigate the equity phenomenon, which can be defined as an equal treatment for equal need irrespective of socio-economic status, in the utilization of health care services in Turkey (for out-patient and in-patient treatment services, separately) in the context of the behavioral model. We have used the “Health Surveys” obtained from the Turkish Statistical Institute for 2010, 2012 and 2014. The equity phenomenon and the determinants of the health care utilization are investigated by using the probit model. The findings indicate that the need variable has the largest marginal effect in magnitude for all types of health care. This implies that the health system structure in Turkey is based on need and, therefore, equity exists in the utilization of health care services. We have also found that health insurance has the second largest marginal effect after the need variable. This means that policy makers should focus on enabling factors, especially the coverage of health insurance and the level of income to increase health care utilization of the disadvantaged segments of the population.
Key words: Equity, Health care utilization, Behavioral model.
JEL: I12, I14.