The accessibility of vulnerable groups to health services in Greece: a Delphi study on the perceptions of health professionals
Article first published online: 7 JUN 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
The International Journal of Health Planning and Management
Volume 28, Issue 1, pages 35–47, January/March 2013
How to Cite
Karamitri, I., Bellali, T., Galanis, P. and Kaitelidou, D. (2013), The accessibility of vulnerable groups to health services in Greece: a Delphi study on the perceptions of health professionals. Int. J. Health Plann. Mgmt., 28: 35–47. doi: 10.1002/hpm.2115
- Issue published online: 3 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 7 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 22 APR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 30 OCT 2011
- vulnerable groups;
- Delphi study;
- health professionals
Problems of accessibility to healthcare services notably affect certain population groups such as poor and unemployed people, migrants and minorities, thus having a negative impact on their health. The aim of this study was to investigate these problems from the perspective of health professionals and to formulate empirically informed suggestions to solve the issue.
Primary data were collected in 2010–2011 by using a panel of 36 experienced health professionals around Greece. A two-round Delphi method was undertaken to achieve the objectives of the study. The first questionnaire investigated the factors that hinder accessibility to health services. The second round aimed at determining the relative importance of each of the factors emerging in the first round.
The group of experts identified 345 factors in the first round, which were grouped in 55 statements. Consensus was achieved in 22 statements. The study revealed important issues, and health professionals proposed a number of actions to eliminate the accessibility problems.
The use of medical interpreters and cultural mediators, transcultural education and stronger linkages among medical facilities are important to reduce accessibility problems. Restructuring primary healthcare and better documenting of the beneficiaries could also improve the quality of provided healthcare services. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.