Disability as a determinant of access to health care services in Colombia
Pinilla Roncancio, Monica Viviana
The relationship between disability and poverty has been described in different contexts. Nevertheless, the basic characteristics of this relationship have not yet been fully established. The social exclusion and discrimination against people with disabilities increase the risk of poverty and reduce the access to basic opportunities such as health and education. This study examines the impact of a health limitation and poverty in the access to health care services in Colombia. Data from the Colombian National Health Survey (2007) was used in the analysis. Variables related with health condition and socio economic characteristics were first generated. Then interactions between health limitations and the lower levels of the asset index were created. This variable gave information related to the relationship between disability and poverty. A probabilistic model was estimated to examine the impact of a health condition and the relation between poverty and disability on the access to health care. The results suggest that living with a physical limitation increases by 10% the probability of access to health care services in Colombia. However, people with a disability and in the lowest quartile of the asset index have a 5% less probability of access to health care services. We conclude that people who live with a physical, mental or sensorial limitation have a higher probability of access to health care services. However, poor and disabled people have a lower probability in access, which increases the risk of having a severe disease and become chronically poor.