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Matern Child Health J. 2019 Jun;23(6):777-786. doi: 10.1007/s10995-018-02694-0.

An Evaluation of Healthcare Use and Child Morbidity 4 Years After User Fee Removal in Rural Burkina Faso.

Author information

1
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Montreal, Montréal, Canada. david.zombre@umontreal.ca.
2
University of Montreal Public Health Research Institute - IRSPUM, Pavillon 7101 Avenue du Parc C.P 6128 Succursale C, local, 3224, Montréal, QC, H3C 3J7, Canada. david.zombre@umontreal.ca.
3
Institute of Global Health, Medical Faculty, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.
4
Departments of Pediatrics and of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montréal, Canada.
5
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Montreal, Montréal, Canada.
6
IRD (French Institute For Research on sustainable Development), CEPED (IRD-Université Paris Descartes), Universités Paris Sorbonne Cités, ERL INSERM SAGESUD, Paris, France.
7
University of Montreal Public Health Research Institute - IRSPUM, Pavillon 7101 Avenue du Parc C.P 6128 Succursale C, local, 3224, Montréal, QC, H3C 3J7, Canada.

Abstract

Objectives Increasing financial access to healthcare is proposed to being essential for improving child health outcomes, but the available evidence on the relationship between increased access and health remains scarce. Four years after its launch, we evaluated the contextual effect of user fee removal intervention on the probability of an illness occurring and the likelihood of using health services among children under 5. We also explored the potential effect on the inequality in healthcare access. Methods We used a comparative cross-sectional design based upon household survey data collected years after the intervention onset in one intervention and one comparison district. Propensity scores weighting was used to achieve balance on covariates between the two districts, which was followed by logistic multilevel modelling to estimate average marginal effects (AME). Results We estimated that there was not a significant difference in the reduced probability of an illness occurring in the intervention district compared to the non-intervention district [AME 4.4; 95% CI  1.0-9.8)]. However, the probability of using health services was 17.2% (95% CI 15.0-26.6) higher among children living in the intervention district relative to the comparison district, which rose to 20.7% (95% CI 9.9-31.5) for severe illness episodes. We detected no significant differences in the probability of health services use according to socio-economic status [χ2 (5) = 12.90, p = 0.61]. Conclusions for Practice In our study, we found that user fee removal led to a significant increase in the use of health services in the longer term, but it is not adequate by itself to reduce the risk of illness occurrence and socioeconomic inequities in the use of health services.

KEYWORDS:

Access to healthcare; Burkina Faso; Child health; Inequalities; User fee removal

PMID:
30580393
PMCID:
PMC6510853
DOI:
10.1007/s10995-018-02694-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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