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      Health-care utilization and associated factors in Gauteng province, South Africa


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          Background: More than a billion people, mainly in low- and middle-income countries, are unable to access needed health-care services for a variety of reasons. Possible factors influencing health-care utilization include socio-demographic and economic factors such as age, sex, education, employment and income. However, different studies have showed mixed results. Moreover, there are limited studies on health-care utilization.

          Objective: This study aimed to determine health-care utilization and associated factors among all residents aged 18 or over in Gauteng province, South Africa.

          Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from data collected for a Quality of Life survey which was carried out by Gauteng City-Region Observatory in 2013. Simple random sampling was used to select participants. A total of 27,490 participants have been interviewed. Data were collected via a digital data collection instrument using an open source system called Formhub. Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM) was used to improve estimation of causal effects. Stepwise multiple logistic regression was employed to identify factors associated with health-care utilization.

          Results: Around 95.7% reported usually utilizing health-care services while the other 4.3% reported not having sought health-care services of any type. Around 75% of participants reported reduced quality of public health services as a major reason not to visit them. Higher odds of reported health-care utilization were associated with being female (OR = 2.18, 95% CI: 1.88–2.53; p < 0.001), being White compared to being African (OR = 2.28, 95% CI: 1.84–2.74; p < 0.001), and having medical insurance (OR = 5.41, 95% CI: 4.06–7.23; p < 0.001). Lower odds of seeking health-care were associated with being an immigrant (OR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.53–0.70; p < 0.001).

          Conclusions: The results indicated that there is a need to improve the quality of public health-care services and perception towards them as improved health-care quality increases the choice of health-care providers.

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          A mediation approach to understanding socio-economic inequalities in maternal health-seeking behaviours in Egypt

          Background The levels and origins of socio-economic inequalities in health-seeking behaviours in Egypt are poorly understood. This paper assesses the levels of health-seeking behaviours related to maternal care (antenatal care [ANC] and facility delivery) and their accumulation during pregnancy and childbirth. Secondly, it explores the mechanisms underlying the association between socio-economic position (SEP) and maternal health-seeking behaviours. Thirdly, it examines the effectiveness of targeting of free public ANC and delivery care. Methods Data from the 2008 Demographic and Health Survey were used to capture two latent constructs of SEP: individual socio-cultural capital and household-level economic capital. These variables were entered into an adjusted mediation model, predicting twelve dimensions of maternal health-seeking; including any ANC, private ANC, first ANC visit in first trimester, regular ANC (four or more visits during pregnancy), facility delivery, and private delivery. ANC and delivery care costs were examined separately by provider type (public or private). Results While 74.2% of women with a birth in the 5-year recall period obtained any ANC and 72.4% delivered in a facility, only 48.8% obtained the complete maternal care package (timely and regular facility-based ANC as well as facility delivery) for their most recent live birth. Both socio-cultural capital and economic capital were independently positively associated with receiving any ANC and delivering in a facility. The strongest direct effect of socio-cultural capital was seen in models predicting private provider use of both ANC and delivery. Despite substantial proportions of women using public providers reporting receipt of free care (ANC: 38%, delivery: 24%), this free-of-charge public care was not effectively targeted to women with lowest economic resources. Conclusions Socio-cultural capital is the primary mechanism leading to inequalities in maternal health-seeking in Egypt. Future studies should therefore examine the objective and perceived quality of care from different types of providers. Improvements in the targeting of free public care could help reduce the existing SEP-based inequalities in maternal care coverage in the short term. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0652-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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            Health seeking behaviour and health service utilization in Pakistan: challenging the policy makers.

            There is a growing literature on health seeking behaviours and the determinants of health services utilization especially in the context of developing countries. However, very few focused studies have been seen in Pakistan in this regard. This paper presents an extensive literature review of the situation in developing countries and relates the similar factors responsible for shaping up of a health seeking behaviour and health service utilization in Pakistan. The factors determining the health behaviours may be seen in various contexts: physical, socio-economic, cultural and political. Therefore, the utilization of a health care system, public or private, formal or non-formal, may depend on socio-demographic factors, social structures, level of education, cultural beliefs and practices, gender discrimination, status of women, economic and political systems environmental conditions, and the disease pattern and health care system itself. Policy makers need to understand the drivers of health seeking behaviour of the population in an increasingly pluralistic health care system. Also a more concerted effort is required for designing behavioural health promotion campaigns through inter-sectoral collaboration focusing more on disadvantaged segments of the population.
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              Equity and health sector reforms: can low-income countries escape the medical poverty trap?


                Author and article information

                Glob Health Action
                Glob Health Action
                Global Health Action
                Taylor & Francis
                2 June 2017
                : 10
                : 1
                [ a ]Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of the Witwatersrand , Johannesburg, South Africa
                [ b ]College of Health and Medical Sciences, School of Public Health, Haramaya University , Harar, Ethiopia
                Author notes
                CONTACT Admas Abera Abaerei admasabera10@ 123456gmail.com College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University , Harar, Ethiopia
                © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, References: 28, Pages: 10
                Original Article

                Health & Social care
                health-care,health-care utilization,immigrants,south africa
                Health & Social care
                health-care, health-care utilization, immigrants, south africa


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