More than half of people who choose not to contact the healthcare system when they feel sick choose to self-medicate, according to a report on access to healthcare released today.

According to the report “Access to healthcare – Citizens’ choices 2020”, prepared by Professor Pedro Pita Barros at the Faculty of Economics at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, one in 10 respondents, when they feel sick, choose not to contact the health system and, of these, 63% chose to self-medicate.

It could be worse if self-medication were internet-based (…), but it is good to know better what is happening with this self-medication and what are the home pharmacies that people are using”, said Pita Barros, stressing that this is an area “in which we need to invest a little more”.

The study also shows that three out of four people feel that they were treated with dignity, compassion and respect in the health system, but despite an overall figure of 76.6% of people who reported being treated well, there are differences associated with the level of education: 80% for people with basic education and 72% for those with higher education.

In Portugal, the strongest element in this perception turns out to be the level of schooling achieved. People with more education either have more expectations or tend to feel the ability to at least voice more of their displeasure and end up having a less good appreciation for this question than people with less education”, explained Pita Barros.

The values ​​calculated for Portugal are lower than in other countries, according to the report, which indicates that similar assessments in England have values ​​above 80% and close to 90% for specific health services.

Data from the Report “Access to healthcare – Citizens’ choices 2020” were collected by the company GfK, between the 23rd of May and the 30th of June 2020, through a survey prepared by the Nova SBE Health Economics research team and Management Knowledge Center based on a representative sample of 1,271 interviews.

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