ASSESSMENT OF HEALTH SEEKING BEHAVIOUR AND HEALTHCARE PAYMENT OPTIONS IN NIGERIA
Keywords:health seeking behaviour, payment options, out-of-pocket payment, urban Slums and Abuja
Availability of resources, location of residence, and other health related factors affects the health seeking behaviour of people in Nigeria especially people in poor settlements. Many of the citizens pay for their healthcare needs through the regressive out-of-pocket payment method thus this could be a hindrance to seeking better healthcare. This study assessed the health seeking behaviour and payment options of slum dwellers using a one month recall period. Data was collected using a well-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. The quantitative statistical tools used in the study analysis were tabulations, frequencies and testing of means. The findings showed that about 32.8% of the heads of households and 25% of other household members were sick one month prior to the interview. The major illnesses was presumptive malaria (54.9%) and (55.1%) for heads of household and other household members respectively. Majority of the head of households and other household members first sought for treatment from patent medicine vendors. The major payment option available for slum dwellers to pay for their health needs was through the out-of-pocket and it was used by 62.1% of heads of households and 73.2% of other household members. Only about 3% of the household heads and about 3.9% of other household members had any form of health insurance. The policy implication is the poor health seeking patter where majority seeks care at patent medicine vendors may be improved with a good financial risk protection mechanism such as health insurance, which will improve access.
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