Bourne, Paul A.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Health inequality in Jamaica, 1988-2007
Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences
Date of Publication
Objective: The mortality for men is not only greater than that of women as indicated by the life expectancy but of the five leading cause of death in the nation (malignant neoplasms; cerebrovascular disease; heart disease; diabetes mellitus and homicides), the rates for men were greater in four (malignant neoplasms; cerebrovascular; heart disease and homicides). Despite these realities, men seek less medical care than the women and stay longer in hospitals for curative care. This study examines medical seeking behaviour, self-reported ill-health, and gender differential in medical seeking health care and self-reported ill-health. Method: The current research used secondary data. The data were extracted from the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC) on medical care seeking behaviour, self-reported illness (or ill-health) and the gender composition of those who reported ill-health. The JSLC was born out of the World Bank’s Living Standard Survey Data were also taken from the Ministry of Health’s Annual Report, which provided statistics on actual percentage of Jamaicans who visited public hospitals. The current study used 19 years of published data extracted from the JSLC (1988-2007). Scatter diagrams and best fitted lines were used to examine correlations and trends. Results: Over a 2-decade period, 1988 to 2007, only a small percentage of Jamaicans reported ill-health (between 9 to 19 %) and 15.5% in 2007, which is an increase of 3.3% over the previous year. Despite this low figure, increasingly more men sought medical care over the study period (41.1%) compared to women (29%). Nevertheless, health care seeking behaviour is still gender bias 68.1% of women and 62.8% of men who reported health conditions. For men, more of medical care seeking behaviour is explained by ill-health (r-squared=35.4%) than women (r-squared 8.8%). Conclusion: This study is one of the first to examine and provide some explanation on gender differentials in health care behaviour and self-reported illness/injury in Jamaica. We found that while more men who report ill-health have been seeking medical care, the gap between the sexes in regard health seeking behaviour has been narrowing.....