Majority of Estonians think that the health care standard in the country is good and nearly half are happy with the availability of medical assistance.
According to a poll, commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, four out of five people have used health care services within the last 12 months. The majority, 68 percent of the respondents, consulted a GP and 50 percent a specialist doctor.
Respondents were the most satisfied with dentists (97 percent) and family nurses (95 percent). Yet, the poll also revealed that less than half of the population has regular check-ups at the dentist at least once a year. "In this context, we are working on a dental care reimbursement program for adults, which would see approximately 12 million euros directed to the cause from 2017 onward," Health and Labor Minister Rannar Vassiljev said.
The results of the survey will also be used to develop other aspects of the public health care system.
"We've got a good and handy GP network, as well as swift emergency care, accessible to everyone," said Tanel Ross, the Head of the Health Insurance Fund, adding that there is, on the other hand, room to cut waiting times for specialists.
Currently, only 43 percent of the respondents considered the accessibility of health care services good or very good. Many cite access to specialist medical care as the biggest problem.
The poll, conducted by TNS Emor, had 1,645 respondents between the ages of 15-74. It aimed to learn of people's opinions about their health and the Estonian heath care system, its perceived quality, accessibility and weaknesses.
Editor: M. Oll