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The impact of economic growth on health care utilization: a longitudinal study in rural Vietnam
Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Institute of Health Economics, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1633-2179
2013 (English)In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 12, Article nr 19- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION: In many developing countries, including Vietnam, out-of-pocket payment is the principal source of health financing. The economic growth is widening the gap between rich and poor people in many aspects, including health care utilization. While inequities in health between high- and low-income groups have been well investigated, this study aims to investigate how the health care utilization changes when the economic condition is changing at a household level.

METHOD: We analysed a panel data of 11,260 households in a rural district of Vietnam. Of the sample, 74.4% having an income increase between 2003 and 2007 were defined as households with economic growth. We used a double-differences propensity score matching technique to compare the changes in health care expenditure as percentage of total expenditure and health care utilization from 2003 to 2005, from 2003 to 2007, and from 2005 to 2007, between households with and without economic growth.

RESULTS: Households with economic growth spent less percentage of their expenditure for health care, but used more provincial/central hospitals (higher quality health care services) than households without economic growth. The differences were statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that households with economic growth are better off also in terms of health services utilization. Efforts for reducing inequalities in health should therefore consider the inequality in income growth over time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2013. Vol. 12, Article nr 19- p.
Keyword [en]
Economic growth, Health care utilization, Household expenditure Vietnam
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-71412DOI: 10.1186/1475-9276-12-19ISI: 000316364800001PubMedID: 23497015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-71412DiVA: diva2:623733
Available from: 2013-05-28 Created: 2013-05-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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