LSTM Home > LSTM Research > LSTM Online Archive

The impact of user fees on health services utilization and infectious disease diagnoses in Neno District, Malawi: a longitudinal, quasi-experimental study

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

Watson, S I, Wroe, E B, Dunbar, E L, Mukherjee, J, Squire, Bertie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7173-9038, Nazimera, L, Dullie, L and Lilford, R J (2016) 'The impact of user fees on health services utilization and infectious disease diagnoses in Neno District, Malawi: a longitudinal, quasi-experimental study'. BMC Health Services Research, Vol 16, Issue 595.

[img]
Preview
Text
BMC_Health_Ser_Res_16_595_The impact of user fees on health services utilization.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview
[img]
Preview
Text (Erratum - Fig. 1)
Erratum - BMC_Health_Ser_Res_16_629_Erratum to the impact of user fees.pdf - Supplemental Material
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (380kB) | Preview

Abstract

Background
User fees have generally fallen out of favor across Africa, and they have been associated with reductions in access to healthcare. We examined the effects of the introduction and removal of user fees on outpatient attendances and new diagnoses of HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis in Neno District, Malawi where user fees were re-instated at three of 13 health centres in 2013 and subsequently removed at one of these in 2015.

Methods
We conducted two analyses. Firstly, an unadjusted comparison of outpatient visits and new diagnoses over three periods between July 2012 and October 2015: during the period with no user fees, at the re-introduction of user fees at four centres, and after the removal of user fees at one centre. Secondly, we estimated a linear model of the effect of user fees on the outcome of interest that controlled for unobserved health centre effects, monthly effects, and a linear time trend.

Results
The introduction of user fees was associated with a change in total attendances of −68 % [95 % CI: −89 %, −12 %], similar reductions were observed for new malaria and HIV diagnoses. The removal of user fees was associated with an increase in total attendances of 352 % [213 %, 554 %] with similar increases for malaria diagnoses. The results were not sensitive to control group or model specification.

Conclusions
User fees for outpatient healthcare services present a barrier to patients accessing healthcare and reduce detection of serious infectious diseases.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > Health Services. Patients and Patient Advocacy > W 85 Patients. Attitude and compliance
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503 Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV infections
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503.1 Diagnosis
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 200 Tuberculosis (General)
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 220 Diagnosis. Prognosis
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1856-x
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2016 10:46
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:13
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/6328

Statistics

View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item