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Satisfaction With Healthcare Access Lacking in Spain, Italy
World

Satisfaction With Healthcare Access Lacking in Spain, Italy

by Kristjan Archer and Julie Ray
Satisfaction With Healthcare Access Lacking in Spain, Italy

Story Highlights

  • Majorities in Western Europe satisfied with access to quality healthcare
  • Nearly half of Italians (48%) dissatisfied with access to quality healthcare

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Before the COVID-19 pandemic stretched even some of the best healthcare systems in Europe to their breaking point, majorities of adults living in the European countries hardest hit by the virus were largely satisfied with the access to quality healthcare in their communities. But the sizable segments in each country who were dissatisfied with access to quality care over the past few years suggest weaknesses or gaps existed in their systems before the pandemic -- at least from the public's perspective.

In a number of European countries caught in the current coronavirus crossfire, satisfaction with the availability of quality healthcare between 2016 and 2019 was at least at a majority level, ranging from a high of 84% in Germany to a low of 51% in Italy.

Satisfaction With Availability of Quality Healthcare in European Countries on the Front Lines
In the city or area where you live, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the availability of quality healthcare?
Satisfied Dissatisfied
% %
Germany 84 15
United Kingdom 76 22
France 74 25
Spain 68 31
Italy 51 48
Gallup World Poll, 2016-2019

More telling are the relatively high percentages in Spain and Italy who were dissatisfied with the availability of quality healthcare where they live. Nearly half of Italians (48%) and more than three in 10 in Spain (31%) reported being dissatisfied with access to quality care. A look at the regions within these countries shows that perceptions about healthcare also greatly depend on where people live.

While satisfaction with access to quality healthcare is comparatively high in Italy's northern regions -- where the majority of the country's current COVID-19 cases reside -- satisfaction is extremely low in the country's south and islands, a potentially ominous warning about their medical preparedness as the virus moves southward. In the southern regions and islands of Italy, three out of every five people were dissatisfied with the availability of quality healthcare.

Satisfaction With Availability of Quality Healthcare in Italy, by Region
In the city or area where you live, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the availability of quality healthcare?
Satisfied Dissatisfied
% %
North West 62 37
North East 61 38
Centre 50 48
Islands 38 60
South 37 62
Gallup World Poll, 2016-2019

In Spain, dissatisfaction with available healthcare is relatively evenly spread across the country's regions. While no one region stands out in satisfaction, in terms of population density, the communities near Madrid are the most populous. When one compares the Madrid area to the northern parts of Italy -- home to major cities like Milan, Turin, Genoa and Venice -- it is evident that the populous Italian regions fare worse than the Spanish capital in regard to satisfaction with available healthcare.

Satisfaction With Availability of Quality Healthcare in Spain, by Region
In the city or area where you live, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the availability of quality healthcare?
Satisfied Dissatisfied
% %
Community of Madrid 71 29
South 70 29
North-West 69 31
East 68 31
North-East 66 32
The Canaries 64 35
Centre 62 37
Gallup World Poll, 2016-2019

Bottom Line

Western leaders and health organizations are painting a grim picture of the impact COVID-19 will have on their populations and economies. Access to healthcare is important in the best of times, but right now it is life or death, with healthcare systems in hardest-hit countries teetering on the brink of collapse. Gaps in availability of care are only magnified in a health crisis, even in countries with strong healthcare systems.

In coming weeks, Gallup will continue to look at people's satisfaction with the care available to them across the rest of the globe.

For complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.

Learn more about how the Gallup World Poll works.


Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/306092/satisfaction-healthcare-access-lacking-spain-italy.aspx
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