Author(s): Adhikari SR, Supakankunti S, Khan MM
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To examine the choice of healthcare providers for treating kala azar (KA) in Nepal. METHODS: Information was collected from clinically diagnosed KA patients seeking care from public hospitals located in KA endemic districts. The survey collected information from more than 25 percent of total KA cases in the country. For empirical estimation of probability of choosing a provider-type as a first contact healthcare provider, a multinomial logit model was defined with five alternative options with self care as the reference category. RESULTS: The empirical model found that price of medical care services, income of households, knowledge of patients on KA and KA treatment, borrowing money, age of patient, perceived quality of provider types, etc. determine the likelihood of seeking care from the alternative options considered in the analysis. All variables have expected signs and are consistent with earlier studies. The price and income elasticity were found to be very high indicating that poorer households are very sensitive to price and income changes, even for a severe disease like KA. Using the empirical models, we have analyzed two policy instruments: demand side financing and interventions to improve the knowledge index about KA. CONCLUSIONS: Due to high price elasticity of KA care and high spillover effects of KA on the society, policy makers may consider demand side financing as an instrument to encourage utilization of public hospitals. Copyright © 2011 Hainan Medical College. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Asian Pac J Trop Med
and referenced in Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques