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RESEARCH ARTICLE Open Access Costs of medicines and health care: a concern for Australian women across the ages

By Emily J Walkom, Deborah Loxton and Jane Robertson

Abstract

Background: Evidence from Australia and other countries suggests that some individuals struggle to meet the costs of their health care, including medicines, despite the presence of Government subsidies for low-income earners. The aim of our study was to elucidate women’s experiences with the day to day expenses that relate to medicines and their health care. Methods: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) conducts regular surveys of women in three age cohorts (born 1973–78, 1946–51, and 1921–26). Our data were obtained from free text comments included in surveys 1 to 5 for each cohort. All comments were scanned for mentions of attitudes, beliefs and behaviours around the costs of medicines and health care. Relevant comments were coded by category and themes identified. Results: Over 150,000 responses were received to the surveys, and 42,305 (27%) of these responses included free-text comments; 379 were relevant to medicines and health care costs (from 319 individuals). Three broad themes were identified: costs of medicines (33 % of relevant comments), doctor visits (49%), and complementary medicines (13%). Age-specific issues with medicine costs included contraceptive medicines (1973–78 cohort), hormone replacement therapy (1946–51 cohort) and osteoporosis medications (1921–26 cohort). Concerns about doctor visits mostly related to reduced (or no) access to bulk-billed medical services, where there are no out-of

Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.1006.5599
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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