Volume 12, Issue 2, 2020
Authors: Vlad Teodor BERBECAR, Radu-Matei COCHECI, Andreea ACASANDRE, Gener ISMAIL, Gabriel MIRCESCU
QUALITY OF LIVING ASSESSMENT IN RURAL ROMANIA. AN ANALYSIS OF SETTLEMENTS WITH LOW ACCESSIBILITY TO MEDICAL SERVICES
Several factors contribute to the lower quality of living of post-communist countries like Romania, such as housing quality, access to basic infrastructure or services including healthcare, and low income and education levels. To evaluate to what extent the quality of living is related to social and economic factors, including access to medical services, a field questionnaire was applied to 703 respondents from 8 settlements located in the South-East of Romania. Using the Principal Component Analysis, four determinants were selected to compute a Quality of Living Index (QoLI): sewage, room surface per dweller, dwelling accessibility and fuel use for cooking. The QoLI computed for each respondent varied between 29.7 and 94.8 with a mean value of 58.5. It was directly related to the level of education and income and with several healthcare parameters. The mean value for each Local Administrative Unit was used to establish a ranking, with the commune of Mihail Kogălniceanu (Constanța county) having the highest average QoLI, and the commune of Brăești (Buzău county) having the lowest average QoLI. The QoLI of investigated settlements was in line with the results reported by other studies that assessed the socio-economic development of towns and it can be used as a tool to establish the level of living conditions and to prioritize the need of intervention.