The determinants of health care seeking and by passing of health care facilities in Kenya
According to the Constitution of Kenya (2010) and the Kenya vision 2030, everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of health. In light of this, the health policy expects to make the realization of the right to health by all Kenyans a reality. This is achieved through policy development on health care provision which involves establishment of health care facilities. However, people make deliberate choices for their healthcare needs based on factors such as visiting facilities with good accreditation, visiting facilities which other people have visited and shared experiences of cleanliness, communication with health care workers and many other aspects which may not always come to the limelight. The existing policy on an individual’s role in adoption of appropriate health practices and health care seeking behavior leads to realization in the country’s health goals. Therefore, this study sought to investigate and estimate determinants of health care seeking and bypassing of health facilities in Kenya. The study has utilized Kenya household health expenditure and utilization survey 2007 with the aid of binary logit model to estimate factors influencing bypassing of health care facilities by patients in Kenya. At 5% significance level; age, no education, belonging to poor or middle wealth quintiles, government ownership of health facilities, satisfaction of waiting times and suffering from chronic illness were found to be statistically significant. However, being elderly, being from a poor wealth quintile, being a public or government health facility and being satisfied with the waiting times respectively reduced the likelihood of bypassing while having no education, belonging to middle wealth quintiles and suffering from chronic illness contributed to the increased probability of bypassing nearby health facility in the process of seeking health care. Based on these findings, the study therefore suggests that there is need for creation of awareness on healthcare services provided by the respective facilities while encouraging population in the middle wealth quintiles to consume health care services at health care facilities located nearby to enhance proper utilization of those facilities. Also, on the other hand, the Government through the State department of Health need to equip health facilities with deliverables and relevant equipment required for patients suffering from chronic conditions.