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Demand for Health Care Services in Uganda: Implications for Poverty Reduction

  • Ssewanyana, Sarah
  • Nabyonga, Juliet O.
  • Kasirye, Ibrahim
  • Lawson, David

Using the 2002/03 Uganda National Household Survey data we empirically examine the nature and determinants of individuals' decision to seek care on condition of illness reporting. The major findings include: cost of care is regressive and sustainability reduces the health care utilization for any formal provider by the poorer individuals afters controlling for other factors. In other words, even among public facilities cost of care remains a barrier to utilization of these services. Second, there is no doubt that putting in place strategies aimed at increasing the income of the poor will increase their utilization of the health facilities, though the impact will be higher for private care. Third, besides income and cost and cost of care, other factors in particular qualify of services, education and physical access proxied by distance to the facilities are important determinants of health care utilization. Four, as much as it is important for the government to improve provision of services in the public facilities, incentives should be put in place to encourage and strengthen the role of the private sector. At the same time there is need, to put in place a regulatory system, set standards and a monitoring framework to ensure quality of services and control prices in the private sector especially in the private for profit sub-sector. Clearly there is an increasing preference for the sector's services even after the abolition of cost sharing.

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Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) in its series Research Series with number 150529.

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Date of creation: Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eprcrs:150529
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  1. David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger & Garance Genicot, 2003. "The Demand for Health Care Services in Rural Tanzania," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(2), pages 241-260, 05.
  2. Martine AUDIBERT & Jacky MATHONNAT, 1998. "Cost Recovery in Mauritania: Initial Lessons from Reform," Working Papers 199811, CERDI.
  3. Akin, John S. & Guilkey, David K. & Hazel?Denton, E., 1995. "Quality of services and demand for health care in Nigeria: A multinomial probit estimation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(11), pages 1527-1537, June.
  4. Ritva Reinikka & Paul Collier, 2001. "Uganda's Recovery : The Role of Farms, Firms, and Government," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13850, March.
  5. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2, March.
  6. Yoder, Richard A., 1989. "Are people willing and able to pay for health services?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 35-42, January.
  7. Okello, D. O. & Lubanga, R. & Guwatudde, D. & Sebina-Zziwa, A., 1998. "The challenge to restoring basic health care in Uganda," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 13-21, January.
  8. Mbugua, J. Karanja & Bloom, Gerald H. & Segall, Malcolm M., 1995. "Impact of user charges on vulnerable groups: The case of Kibwezi in rural Kenya," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 829-835, September.
  9. John S. Akin & David K. Guilkey & Paul L. Hutchinson & Michael T. Mcintosh, 1998. "Price elasticities of demand for curative health care with control for sample selectivity on endogenous illness: an analysis for Sri Lanka," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(6), pages 509-531.
  10. Akin, John S, et al, 1986. "The Demand for Primary Health Care Services in the Bicol Region of the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 755-82, July.
  11. Germano Mwabu & Martha Ainsworth & Andrew Nyamete, 1993. "Quality of Medical Care and Choice of Medical Treatment in Kenya: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 838-862.
  12. Randall P. Elllis & D. Keith McInnes & Elizabeth H. Stephenson, 1994. "Inpatient and outpatient Health Care Demand in Cairo, Egypt," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 38, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
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