The prevalence and determinants of unmet health care needs in Turkey

Health Policy. 2021 Jun;125(6):786-792. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2021.04.006. Epub 2021 Apr 20.


This study aims to examine the prevalence and determinants of unmet health care needs in Turkey. The nationally representative "Health Survey" data for the latest available year, 2016, is used in the analysis. The reasons for unmet health care needs are divided into three categories which are waiting time, affordability (cost), and the distance to health facilities. The probit methodology is employed to investigate the factors affecting unmet health care needs. Approximately 25% of participants (4392 of 17242) reported an unmet need for health care. Overall, females, individuals in lower income groups, those with chronic illness, those with lower education levels and those in younger age groups are more likely to report unmet health care needs. Estimation results point out that age and having a chronic illness have more influence on the reporting of unmet health care needs as compared to other variables included in the model. Therefore, it seems necessary to reorganize the health care system in Turkey to target the needs of individuals with chronic diseases.

Keywords: Health care access; Health survey; Probit model; Unmet health care needs.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Facilities
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Turkey