The choice of curative health care services by households in Ghana

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Unversity of Dar es Salaam
In recent times, a number of studies on health care issues in developing countries focus on health care demand, perhaps, due to the important role of such analysis in understanding the utilization of health care services among individuals and households. This study aims at helping to imrove the understanding of health seeking behavior of households in Ghana. Among other relevant variables, the study divides households into number of males, number of male children, and number of female children and examines how each these variables influences households` choice of curative health care services. The study uses cross-sectional data covering 300 households in Ghana, and adopts a multinomial probit model with four health care options: self-care, drug stores, clinics, and hospitals. The study finds that married people tend to prefer care at drug stores, clinics, or hospitals to self-care. Also, urban dwellers tend to have casier access to drug stores compared to rural dwellers. Again, male-headed households tend to prefer self-care to any of the formal care options. The study also finds that households with more female (adults children) who use formal care. This finding implies that policies aimed at reducing gender inequity in health care in Ghana must take into consideration the gender of not only the decision maker, but also members of the households of the households, particularly children. The results showed that the majority ofv patients (79%) and health workers (90%) respectively were aware about the existence of user free policy as envisaged in National health policy. Our findings in the field also revealed that 29% of patients were aware of the presence of local arrangement of user fee waivers and exemptions following health financing reforms. Many people are aware about the presence of user free policy in the country, but are not aware of the exemptions and waivers that are available to ensure that all have access to health services.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF RA776.95.G4N66)
Households, Self-care, health, Ghana
Nonvignon, J. (2007) The choice of curative health care services by households in Ghana, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam