Access to healthcare during COVID-19 among ageing population in Latvia

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Medical staff has worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to test and treat coronavirus patients. However, the focus on the virus has caused huge disruption to healthcare services resulting in delayed treatment for patients with other serious conditions. Additionally, the reasons for forgoing or abstaining healthcare could also be related to individual decisions. We used data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), where the respondents 50 years and older of the Wave 8, were asked to answer, among other, questions on delayed, postponed or denied healthcare services during the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic in Latvia. The study is based on 195 483 valid weighted cases. Pearson’s chi-squared test was performed to assess the association between the variables. Preliminary results show that 14% of the respondents forwent medical treatment. General practitioner or specialist/dentist check-ups were forgone (both 9%) or postponed more commonly (16% respectively 11%). Appointment was denied to 7% of the respondents. We found significant gender differences (p < 0.001), but they varied depending on the type of treatment and reason for not receiving it. During the first wave of Covid-19 in Latvia, there were few older people that chose themselves or were forced to abstain planned medical treatment or operations, as well as rehabilitation and physiotherapy. However, it is not clear how limited access to the healthcare for other reasons has affected health of ageing population and remains to be studied. The study was performed within the project/agreement No. 'Challenges of ageing in the Baltic Sea region'.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021
Conference number: 8


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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