Impact of the crisis on health inequalities in the most disadvantaged micro-regions in Hungary

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Uzzoli, Annamária
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Kaposvár University
Social inequalities related to health are present in every micro-region and mostly depend on macro economic conditions. The interpretation of the social factors defining health inequalities presumes not only does the labour market position and the level of income count from a health point of view, but also the level and growth of already existing social and health inequalities in Hungary. Health inequalities are always linked to economic inequalities, the unfairness of the distribution system, bad labour market positions, difficulties in the availability of healthcare and education, disadvantaged living and life conditions, and no chance of a healthy life. My hypothesis is that the crisis would probably result in health deterioration for the social groups who are most affected by unemployment and poverty. On the other hand, decreasing income and low-key consumption would result in limited possibilities for health conscious lifestyle. Thirdly, health might be considered as an asset to maintain one’s position on the labour market, but in prevention and health protection large social differences will appear. My aim is in the one hand to interpret the hypothetical connection between crisis and health through the analysis of the specialised literature, and on the other hand to present the domestic situation with the help of statistical induction, especially with regional indicators such as territorial autocorrelation and weighted relative standard deviation. In the presentation of the impact of unemployment on health, I took the index of average life expectancy at birth, which determines life chances in a complex way, since it is determined by death rates. The main level of examination of the statistical analysis is the micro-region with a special emphasis on the most disadvantaged micro-regions. The spatial structure of unemployment and life expectancy on the micro-regional level can provide a more sophisticated view on health inequalities. The local differences of unemployment and life expectancy prove the unambiguously unfavourable position of the north-eastern and south-western parts of the county, as well as North-Western and Central Hungary’s favourable situation. The situation is more differentiated in Eastern Hungary. In the north-eastern micro-regions live the most affected poor and vulnerable social groups with their worse labour market positions. There is another ‘breaking off’ area in the south-western part of Hungary in Somogy county, which is very similar to the north-eastern area. Particularly, the most disadvantageous situation can be experienced in geographically rural micro-regions along the borderline of the country. The micro-regional difference between the most and least favourable average life expectancy at birth is 7.1 years, which is larger than in the counties (3.1 years). The connection between unemployment and life expectancy is medium-strength on the level of micro-regions. Fundamentally, socio-economic environment and quality of life influence health conditions; therefore, the current task is to interpret the inequalities of health-related quality of life within Hungary, from the national level through the county level to the level of micro-regions and settlements.
egészségügy , területi egyenlőtlenségek - Magyarország , munkanélküliség , válság , kistérség , Észak-kelet-Magyarország , gazdasági válság , egészségügyi egyenlőtlenség , egészségügyi egyenlőtlenség - Magyarország
Szendrő K; Soós M. (szerk.) Proceedings of the 4th International Conference of Economic Sciences. 602 p. Konferencia helye, ideje: Kaposvár, Magyarország, 2013.05.09-2013.05.10. Kaposvár: Kaposvár University, 2013. pp. 271-281. (ISBN:978-963-9821-62-0)