Equity in Utilisation of Health Care Services in Kenya
Korir, Chepkirui Sharon
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Access to better health care services is a primary need to every individual in the world and rightfully Kenya. A healthy nation plays a significant position in strengthening growth and development. However, presence of horizontal inequity in utilization of healthcare services hinders these. The project’s main purpose was to estimate the magnitude of horizontal inequity in Kenya and subsequently estimate the variables that affected utilization of health services and give appropriate recommendations. The reason for this is because, literature reviewed such as Bonfrier et al. (2012); Zhou et al. (2013) and Kien et al. (2014), looked at equity and different health outcomes but the magnitude factor was not explored, hence the need for the study.To do so, the project employed its model specification from similar work previously done by Ghosh, 2014 and a step by step analysis of the calculation of the Concentration Index (CI) from Doorslear et al. (2008), by use of STATA analytical tool.Data used was obtained from the Kenya Household Health Expenditure and Utilisation Survey (KHHEUS), 2013. The Concentration Index (CI) method was used to analyze the magnitude of horizontal health inequity in utilization of healthcare services while determinants of inequity in healthcare utilization were determined using a probit regression analysis. From the analysis, the results showed that inequity was existent to both areas of service delivery that is outpatient and inpatient services with CI’s of and 0.0004 and 0.0171 respectively. Determinants to health utilization were, sex, one’s health status, education level and insurance status. To eliminate the minimal level of inequity the government has to come up with workable policies to improve the socio-economic factors. For example the government should empower its citizens to have insurance covers which will act as a financial buffer while seeking for services. Another way is for the government to improve the literacy levels, there has been some effort to this due to the free education, and hopefully this will have an impact on individuals since education impacts on health literacy which in turn affects health decisions. Ultimately the government should strive to have health care services affordable to its citizens.