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Title: Health care costs of domestic violence against women – evidence from Portugal
Author: Barros, Pedro
Lisboa, Manuel
Barrenho, Eliana
Cerejo, Dalila
Keywords: health care costs, domestic violence
Issue Date: 27-Jan-2010
Abstract: Our main objective is to estimate the additional health care costs to the Portuguese National Health Service (NHS) due to domestic violence against women. We collected information through a survey addressed to health care centres’ female users. Both victims and non-victims of violence were inquired. We estimate costs according to five different groups – consultation costs, health care treatment and therapeutic costs, costs of complementary and diagnostic exams, drugs costs and transport costs. The estimations have been split into two perspectives – the NHS perspective (public perspective) and private perspective of inquired women (out of pocket payments). The timeframe of our calculations is one year, referring to all costs generated by domestic violence situations in the last twelve months. Essentially costs were estimated through the product of total number of episodes by the average estimated price per episode. Additionally, for the private costs, we also considered the costs originated by income losses, the opportunity cost of time spent on health care treatments and the work inability caused by sickness. The results suggest that the victims of domestic violence’s additional demand for health care is valued €140 per annum, that is about 22% higher than health care costs of non-victims. These results match those of similar studies for the United States, taking account of per capita differences in health care spending. A large proportion (90%) of the additional costs associated with domestic violence is supported by the NHS, where consultations and drugs are the most important contributors of such costs. Health consequences of domestic violence result from losses in quality of life and worst health status of victims and correspond to additional permanent economic costs of domestic violence episodes.
Appears in Collections:NSBE: Nova SBE - Working Papers

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