Social Science & Medicine
Volume 132, Pages 1-286 (May 2015)
Patient access to health care and medicines across low-income countries
Original Research Article
Divya Srivastava, Alistair McGuire
This study explores the issue of demand for health care and medicines in low-income country settings. Using the World Health Survey, multivariate analysis of cross-sectional household data from 35 low-income countries found that when ill, patient demand for health care to visit a clinic or hospital is inelastic ranging from −0.19 to 0.11. The main determinants of health seeking behaviour include having insurance, having a chronic condition, high household expenditure, and marital status. Women, the educated and those living in urban settings are more likely to seek care in a clinic. These findings suggest low-income patients will experience access problems, raising important policy implications to improve access to health care and medicines in these settings.