We examine access to general practitioners and specialists who work in the public and private sectors in Italy using a seemingly unrelated system of probits. We use a latent class formulation that provides a rich and flexible functional form and can accommodate non-normality of response probabilities. The empirical analysis shows that patient behavior can be clustered in two latent classes. We find that income strongly influences the mix of services. Richer individuals are less likely to seek care from GP's and more likely to seek care from specialists, and especially private specialists. Health status and societal vulnerability are the most important indicators of class membership.
Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.