Background: The elderly population in Palestine is small but faces many obstacles and gaps in healthcare in this low-middle income country. They are generally underserved, many living in poverty, facing difficulties in access to care and are a less well educated group of people.
Aim: To analyze the effects on access and utilization of primary healthcare services by the elderly.
Method: This study was part of a larger survey conducted in Palestine from Oct 2021-February 2022. Quantitative data was collected by trained interviewers using notebooks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, n=76. SPSS Version 26 was used for analysis.
Results: There is a less well educated population with at least 75% of the elderly reported having a chronic health problem. They all reported having health insurance although meeting health care costs and out of pocket expense was a burden for at least 47%. Access to healthcare services such as acquiring a permit from the Israeli occupation forces or travelling long distances to reach care centers was a hindrance.
Conclusion: Education and health are intertwined. By ensuring the population is educated, a sound health system is in place including universal insurance, policy makers and researchers working hand in hand will provide for more preparation for the growing populations needs while also serving to reduce inequities in health.