Bourne, Paul A.; Eldemire-Shearer,Denise
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Public hospital health care utilization in Jamaica
Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences
Date of Publication
Objective: Health is a crucible component in any discussion on development, and public private hospital health care utilization accommodates this mandate of governments. The aim of the current study is to examine factors that account for people's public hospital health care facilities utilization in Jamaica, and to ascertain whether is a difference between public hospital care utilization and income quintile and area of residence. Method: The current study has extracted a sub-sample of 1,936 respondents from a national survey of 25,018 respondents. The sub-sample constitutes those respondents who had indicated visits to public hospital facilities for health care or private hospital health care facilities owing to self-reported ill-health. It is taken from a larger cross-sectional survey which was conducted between June and October 2002. It was a nationally representatives stratified probability survey of 25,018 respondents. The data were collected by a comprehensive self-administered questionnaire, which was primarily completed by heads of households on all household members. The questionnaire is adopted from the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) household surveys and was modified by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica with a narrower focus and reflects policy impacts. Chi-square, t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for bivariate relationships, and logistic regression was used to explain factors that determine who attended public hospital health care facilities. Findings: The current findings revealed that 6 factors determine 35.6% of the variability in visits to public hospital health care facilities utilization in Jamaica. Two major findings from this study are 1) health seeking behaviour and health insurance coverage are the two most significant factors that determine public hospital health care facilities utilization, and that 2) the two aforementioned factors and positive affective conditions inversely correlate with public hospital health care facility utilization. In addition to the above, there is no statistical difference between the utilization of public hospital health care facilities and area of residence while lower income quintile becomes the greater public hospital health care facilities utilization has been. Conclusion: The demands for public hospital health care facility utilization in Jamaica are primarily based on unaffordability and low perceived quality of patient care. The issue of low quality of patient care speaks not to medical care, but to the customer service care offered to clients. The greater percentage of Jamaicans who access private health care is not owing to plethora of services, higher specialized doctors, more advanced medical equipment, or low, but this is due to social environment - customer service and social interaction between staffers and clients- and physical milieu - more than one person per bed sometimes , uncleanliness of the facilities.....