Study Shows that 72% of the Population Are Satisfied with the Quality of Health Care in Estonia

Today, Saar Poll, a market research company, presented the results of a study commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (henceforth EHIF) titled ”The Satisfaction of the Population with Their Health and Medical Care in 2011”. The study demonstrated that 72% of Estonians are satisfied with the quality of health care, over a half (51%) are happy with the availability of health care services, and almost two thirds (61%) consider the Estonian health care system to be well-organized.

The levels of satisfaction with the health care system, availability of medical help, and quality remained the same as last year.   Over the past year, 78% of the population visited a doctor due to a health problem. Family physicians saw the largest number of patients during this time. Among everyone who had contact with their physician/nurse, 83% were satisfied with their current family physician and 91% with their family nurse. During the last year, 66% of the patients of family physicians got an appointment within two days, which is the same time as in the year before the last.   Last year, 46% of the population visited a medical specialist. About 30% of the patients who made an appointment with a medical specialist managed to get an appointment within a week. 14% of the people who visited a medical specialist had to be on a waiting list for more than two months. 12% of the patients in need of specialized medical care went to a private doctor, so there were no significant changes compared to the year before the last.   In 2011, 62% of the population purchased prescription medication. 87% of the population considers the current system of medical prescriptions and purchases good (up from 73–82%). The study also showed that 2/3 of the population used the digital prescription system for buying medication and the overwhelming majority (97%) were satisfied with the last purchase they made using the digital prescription system.   Hanno Pevkur, the Minister of Social Affairs, emphasized that 43% of the population have adopted a healthier lifestyle. “This is even higher than last year and demonstrates that the general population has become more aware of healthy lifestyle choices and the importance of good health. If people invest more into their health, it will significantly raise their quality of life.”   Hannes Danilov, Chairman of the Management Board, said the following: “I would like to thank the medical facilities and the medical community for their continuous efforts in providing our population with quality health care on the previous level during these difficult times.”   Using interviews and written questionnaires, Saar Poll conducted a nation-wide public opinion study from 28 October to 17 November 2011; 1,510 people between the ages of 15−74 were interviewed.   The purpose of the yearly study commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and EHIF is to understand how the general population views their health and health services offered in Estonia; also, their satisfaction with the health care system and the availability and quality of health care services.    Helena Nõmmik
Ministry of Social Affairs
Press Officer
helena.nommik [at] sm.ee
+372 626 9321
+372 533 049 74
Evelin Koppel
Head of Public Relations
Estonian Health Insurance Fund
+ 372 6 208 439;
+ 372 534 789 49
evelin.koppel [at] haigekassa.ee