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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 36, No. 1, 2017, pp. 1-9
Bioline Code: hn17028
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2017, pp. 1-9

 en Out-of-pocket expenditure for seeking health care for sick children younger than 5 years of age in Bangladesh: findings from cross-sectional surveys, 2009 and 2012
Tahsina, Tazeen; Ali, Nazia Binte; Hoque, D.M. Emdadul; Huda, Tanvir M.; Salam, Shumona Sharmin; Hasan, Mohammad Mehedi; Hossain, Md Altaf; Matin, Ziaul; Kuppen, Lianne; Garnett, Sarah P. & Arifeen, Shams El


Background: Bangladesh has committed to universal health coverage, and options to decrease household out-of-pocket expenditure (OPE) are being explored. Understanding the determinants of OPE is an essential step. This study aimed to estimate and identify determinants of OPE in seeking health care for sick under-five children.

Methods: Cross-sectional data was collected by structured questionnaire in 2009 (n = 7362) and 2012 (n = 6896) from mothers of the under-five children. OPE included consultation fees and costs of medicine, diagnostic tests, hospital admission, transport, accommodation, and food. Expenditure is expressed in US dollars and adjusted for inflation. Linear regression was used for ascertaining the determinants of OPE.

Results: Between 2009 and 2012, the median OPE for seeking care for a sick under-five child increased by ~ 50%, from USD 0.82 (interquartile range 0.39–1.49) to USD 1.22 (0.63–2.36) per child/visit. Increases were observed in every component OPE measured, except for consultation fees which decreased by 12%. Medicine contributed the major portion of overall OPE. Higher overall OPE for care seeking was associated with a priority illness (20% increase), care from trained providers (90% public/~ 2-fold private), residing in hilly/wet lands areas (20%) , and for mothers with a secondary education (19%).

Conclusion: OPE is a major barrier to quality health care services and access to appropriate medicine is increasing in rural Bangladesh. To support the goal of universal health care coverage, geographic imbalances as well as expanded health financing options need to be explored.

Out-of-pocket expenditure; Childhood illnesses; Under-five children; Health care-seeking; Bangladesh

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