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Determinants of Health Seeking Behaviour in Uganda - Is It Just Income and User Fees That Are Important?

  • Lawson, David

This paper uses Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) data to investigate, via a discrete choice model, the main determinants associated with seeking private, government and pharmacy based health care, for both adults and children. More specifically, and particularly important given that almost 40% of the Ugandan population are below the poverty line and that policies on user fees have recently changed, we investigate if income and user fees are the main factors which influence health care demand in Uganda. After controlling for endogenously issues we find that income is strongly associated with increased health care usage, across all age ranges but especially for women, and that user fees are less significant that one might first expect, especially when compared to having a health unit within close proximity. Furthermore, we find significant differences in health seeking behavior to be related to age and gender, and that increased levels of education are consistently associated with a transfer away from government provided health care, possibly indicating that people regard its quality as inferior.

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Paper provided by University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) in its series Development Economics and Public Policy Working Papers with number 30553.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ags:idpmde:30553
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  1. 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.
  2. Heller, Peter S., 1982. "A model of the demand for medical and health services in Peninsular Malaysia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 267-284, January.
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  6. Litvack, Jennie I. & Bodart, Claude, 1993. "User fees plus quality equals improved access to health care: Results of a field experiment in Cameroon," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 369-383, August.
  7. Bolduc, Denis & Lacroix, Guy & Muller, Christophe, 1996. "The choice of medical providers in rural Benin: A comparison of discrete choice models," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 477-498, August.
  8. Appleton, Simon, 1998. "The Impact of Public Services on Health Care and Illness: A Treatment Effects Model with Sample Selectivity," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(1), pages 1-33, March.
  9. Ritva Reinikka & Paul Collier, 2001. "Uganda's Recovery : The Role of Farms, Firms, and Government," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13850, March.
  10. Alderman, H. & Gertler, P., 1989. "The Substitutability Of Public And Private Health Care For The Treatment Of Children In Pakistan," Papers 57, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  11. Wolfe, Barbara L. & Behrman, Jere R., 1982. "Determinants of child mortality, health, and nutrition in a developing country," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 163-193, October.
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  14. 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.
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