Determinants Of Utilization Of Health Care Services In Kenya
There are many factors that influence utilization of health care services. Despite the effort by the government and other stakeholders to improve health care services, utilization of health services in occurrence of disease still remains a major challenge with a significant proportion of the Kenya population embarking on self-medication. The aim of the study is to examine the factors affecting utilization of healthcare services in Kenya and draw policy recommendations based on the findings. The study utilized the probit model to analyze the determinants of utilization of healthcare services in Kenya using the 2013 Kenya Household Health Expenditure and Utilization Survey (KHHEUS) which is a national survey that consisted of 33,675 households. Individual gender, household size, cost per visit, area of residence, wealth index which is a proxy of income and employment status significantly affect the utilization of health care in Kenya as per the findings. Majority of the individuals indicated that the quality of care provided in the facilities visited was good (89%) while the cost of services was relatively high Kshs (440) per visit. The cost significantly increases utilization thus implying that individuals are willing to pay more to receive good quality of health care services hence the need to improve the health systems. It is recommended for the government to invest more on sensitization of the people on issues of nutrition and healthy living conditions since it is evident that those with high wealth index and the employed are less likely to visit a health provider which could be associated to their investment in healthy living lifestyle hence less predisposed to chronic and severe ailments. Lastly, high utilization of health care services by individuals in low wealth index calls for an increase in the number of health facilities that charge subsidized costs and promotion of high quality services in areas with high poverty index.
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