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Title:Household out-of-pocket expenses on health: does disease type matter?
Authors:Wouterse, Fleur
Tankari, Mahamadou
Periodical:Journal of African Economies (ISSN 0963-8024)
Geographic term:Burkina Faso
Subjects:household expenditure
health care
Abstract:This study uses new household data from Burkina Faso and regression analysis to further the understanding of household behaviour in relation to health care systems. The authors model the household decision-making process regarding health care utilisation in three steps: the perception of illness, choosing a treatment regime and health expenditure. In particular, they explain - at the individual level - the contraction of one of four diseases (malaria, digestive tract problems, respiratory infection and influenza). The authors then explain the choice of a treatment regime - home treatment or treatment at a public health facility - conditional upon the individual contracting a particular disease and estimate a health expenditure function conditional upon an individual contracting a particular disease and on the choice of treatment. Disease type is found to explain both treatment choice and health care expenditure with households more likely to opt for home treatment for influenza and with respiratory infection as the most expensive to treat. The authors also find that treatment at a public health facility implies much higher expenses. Their results also point to a gender bias with health care spending significantly higher for male household members. Further, asset poor households are more likely to opt for home treatment while migrants, as a source of information or even medication, reduce this likelihood. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]