Universal health coverage in emerging economies: findings on health care utilization by older adults in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation, and South Africa

SOURCE: Global Health Action
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2014
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, J.S.Williams, P.Kowal, J.Negin, J.J.Snodgrass, A.Yawson, N.Minicuci, L.Thiele, N.Phaswana-Mafuya, R.B.Biritwum, N.Naidoo, S.Chatterji, SAGE Collaboration
KEYWORDS: ADULTS, AGEING, CHINA, GHANA, HEALTH, HEALTH SERVICES, INDIA, MEXICO, RUSSIA
DEPARTMENT: Social Aspects of Public Health (SAPH)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8501

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Abstract

The achievement of universal health coverage (UHC) in emerging economies is a high priority within the global community. This timely study uses standardized national population data collected from adults aged 50 and older in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation, and South Africa. The objective is to describe health care utilization and measure association between inpatient and outpatient service use and patient characteristics in these six low- and middle-income countries. Secondary analysis of data from the World Health Organization's Study on global AGEing and adult health Wave 1 was undertaken. Country samples are compared by socio-demographic characteristics, type of health care, and reasons for use. Logistic regressions describe association between socio-demographic and health factors and inpatient and outpatient service use. In the pooled multi-country sample of over 26,000 adults aged 50-plus, who reported getting health care the last time it was needed, almost 80% of men and women received inpatient or outpatient care, or both. Roughly 30% of men and women in the Russian Federation used inpatient services in the previous 3 years and 90% of men and women in India used outpatient services in the past year. In China, public hospitals were the most frequently used service type for 52% of men and 51% of women. Multivariable regression showed that, compared with men, women were less likely to use inpatient services and more likely to use outpatient services. Respondents with two or more chronic conditions were almost three times as likely to use inpatient services and twice as likely to use outpatient services compared with respondents with no reported chronic conditions. This study provides a basis for further investigation of country-specific responses to UHC.