Longevity – can we afford it? The problem of households’ direct health care expenditures in Poland

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Agata Żółtaszek


Longevity can be perceived as increasing life expectancy in a population or as the long lifespan of an individual. Longer lifespans and decreasing fertility rates in many countries will cause societies to rapidly grow old. This paper is an attempt to define the determinants of the ‘out-of-pocket’ medical expenditures of the elderly. In this research statistical tests and micro-econometric modelling were carried out on a sample of the Polish population. The results of the analysis indicate that the elderly with their elevated needs for medical assistance spent more on the health care, than the rest of population (in the absolute value and in relation to income) and that their expenditures are constantly increasing. The main limitation to households’ health care expenditures is the income, which suggests that there may be an unrealized demand for medical services and products, especially medical drugs that cannot be obtained entirely free of charge. This highlights a new direction for the development of Poland’s health care policy; otherwise, longevity may be a luxury that not everyone can afford.

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How to Cite
Żółtaszek, A. (2017). Longevity – can we afford it? The problem of households’ direct health care expenditures in Poland. Studia Demograficzne, (1(171), pp. 27-48. https://doi.org/10.33119/SD.2017.1.2
Original research papers & review papers


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