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Equity is the core of primary care. The issue of equity in health has become urgent and China has attached increasing attention to it. With rapid economic development and great change of the policy on medical insurance, the pattern of equity in health has changed a lot. Reform of healthcare in Zhejiang province is at the forefront of China; studies on Zhejiang are of great significance to the whole country. This paper aims to measure the equity in health from the perspectives of health needs and health seeking behavior, and provides suggestions for decision making.
A household survey was conducted in August 2016. A sample of 1000 households, 2807 individuals in Zhejiang was obtained with the multi-stage stratified cluster sampling method. Descriptive analysis and Chi-square test were adopted in the analysis. The value of concentration index was used to measure the equity.
This study finds that the poor have more urgent health needs and poorer health situation compared with the rich. The utilization of outpatient services was almost equal, whilst the utilization of hospitalization was pro-rich (the rich use more).Individuals with employer-based medical insurance use more outpatient services than those with rural and urban medical insurance. Compared to the rich, there were more people in the poorer income groups who didn't use inpatient services due to financial difficulties.
The issue of equity in health has attracted broad attention in the world, and China is no exception. We measured and analyzed the equity of health needs and absent rate of health services. We find that the poor have more urgent health needs and high absent rate of inpatient services compared with the rich. Income level and medical insurance may well explain the equity of outpatient and inequity of hospitalization. In view of the pro-rich inequity of hospitalization, more financial protection should be provided for the poor.
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