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Int J Health Plann Manage. 2005 Apr-Jun;20(2):113-35.

The role of user charges and structural attributes of quality on the use of maternal health services in Morocco.

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Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.


Health care decision makers in settings with low levels of utilization of primary services are faced with the challenge of balancing the sometimes competing goals of increasing coverage and utilization of maternity services, particularly among the poor, with that of ensuring the financial viability of the health system. Morocco is a case in point where this policy dilemma is currently being played out. This study examines the role of household out-of-pocket costs and structural attributes of quality on the use of maternity care in Morocco using empirical data collected from both households and health care facilities. A nested logit model is estimated, and the coefficient estimates are used to carry out policy simulations of the impact of changes in the levels of out-of-pocket fees and structural attributes of quality in order to help guide policy makers responsible for the design of pending social insurance programs. The results of the paper suggest that social insurance strategies that involve increases in out-of-pocket charges in the form of copayments could be implemented without untoward effects on appropriate use of maternity care for non-poor women, but would be contraindicated for poorer and rural households.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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