This study examines the barriers to healthcare access for individuals living in the Arctic. By understanding what factors affect people’s decision and ability to visit a healthcare provider, it sheds light on a region where health rates tend to be relatively poor. Theory and previous literature suggest that in other regions of the world barriers to access include the cost of care, travel distance, and the quality of healthcare services which effect the individual’s freedom to access healthcare. This study applies these ideas to the Arctic and uses the capability approach and utility theory to suggest that when individuals have more freedom to access healthcare, they have better health status. In order to test this hypothesis in an Arctic context, the study uses a regression analysis of household level data from Alaska, Greenland, and the Russian Arctic. Findings suggest that in samples from Alaska longer travel distances and lower quality healthcare services are significant predictors of poor health rates. Results from Greenland also indicate that lower quality healthcare services are significant predictors of poor health rates, while results for Russia are inconclusive. Together, the results suggest that future policy should focus on both the quantity and quality of healthcare services.


Krause, Brooke


Global and International Studies


Health Economics


Healthcare, Arctic

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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