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How inflation affects patient health: 7 consequences

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Physicians report how patients cope when prices go up around the world.

Rising costs of living mean less money to spend on health care and healthy habits, so there are negative effects on patient health.

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An estimated 63% of health care providers (HCPS), including primary care physicians, specialists, surgeons, and nurses, said they witnessed the effects on patient health in the six months preceding a September survey, according to “The Cost-of-Living Impact on Healthcare.” The report was published as part of the FirstWord Perspectives presented by physician recruiting consultant Medefield.

“Rapidly rising costs of essentials such as food, heating and transport mean people need to work longer hours for less real spending power, particularly where wage rises cannot keep up with inflation,” the report said. “While the cost-of-living crisis is being felt across the board, poorer sections of society are faced with difficult choices, such as whether to buy nutritious food or turn on the heating to keep warm.”

The Medefield report asked: What have you seen to be the three most common effects that the cost-of-living increases have had on your patients? Physicians and nurses from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom, offered three common effects, with explanations.

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