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Inequity in Formal Health Care Use: Evidence from Rural Bangladesh

Author

Listed:
  • Syed Abdul Hamid
  • Syed M. Ahsan
  • Afroza Begum
  • Chowdhury Abdullah Al Asif

Abstract

This paper analyzes inequity in health care use in rural Bangladesh using data from a survey conducted by Microinsurance Research Unit (MRU) of the Institute of Microfinance (InM) of 4,010 households drawn from 120 villages. The study focuses on formal health care use over the 12 months preceding the survey. We use both the ‘need standardized’ approach and ‘decomposition analysis’ for measuring inequity. The paper finds that the use of formal health care is incredibly low (40%); about two-thirds (65%) of which is private health care and only one-fourth utilizes public sector facilities. Inequity in formal health care use favors the better-off although the level of inequity is modest. Prevailing inequity resides mainly in the utilization of private health care while NCDs contribute significantly to this inequity. Thus, the main public health concern in rural areas of Bangladesh is the low utilization of formal health care (especially public health care), not inequity. From a policy perspective therefore, voluntary health insurance is not an answer so far as chronic NCDs are concerned; social insurance is not quite feasible either due to the large informal economy. Hope therefore lies in the public provision of health care although the latter is plagued by various supply side constraints including meager budgetary resources, daunting governance issues and hence the need for reforms to enhance efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Syed Abdul Hamid & Syed M. Ahsan & Afroza Begum & Chowdhury Abdullah Al Asif, 2014. "Inequity in Formal Health Care Use: Evidence from Rural Bangladesh," Working Papers 28, Institute of Microfinance (InM).
  • Handle: RePEc:imb:wpaper:28
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    File URL: http://inm.org.bd/publication/workingpaper/workingpaper28.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Syed Hamid & Syed Ahsan & Afroza Begum, 2014. "Disease-Specific Impoverishment Impact of Out-of-Pocket Payments for Health Care: Evidence from Rural Bangladesh," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 421-433, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequity; pro-poor; pro-rich; decomposition analysis; need standardized approach; Bangladesh.;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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