Health insurance coverage and treatment seeking behaviour of people working in Port Harcourt.

Alali Aloni Adolphus1*
1Department of Community Medicine University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
*Correspondence: Dr. Alali Aloni Adolphus; +234 803 342 1555; alonialali@gmail.com

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Abstract

Background: The health sector in Nigeria is struggling, and financing of the health systems is poor with abysmal health indices. A significantly large proportion of Nigerians still pay out-of-pocket for healthcare forcing a large proportion to seek care from cheaper unwholesome sources.
Aim: To assess the influence of health insurance coverage on treatment-seeking behaviour of workers in Port Harcourt.
Materials and Methods: The study was set amongst people who work in the formal sector of Port Harcourt and through stratified random sampling, about 250 respondents were drawn from different strata (fully insured, partially insured, not insured). Data was collected using a structured, self-administered questionnaire and analysed using SPSS version 20.
Results: Almost half of the respondents (46.3%) were within the age range of 35 to 44 years. The male to female ratio was almost 1:1 (52.5%:47.5%). 68.9% of the respondents were married. The Majority (62.7%) had either a BSc OND or NCE. They were almost all Christians (96.8%). 73.0% of the respondents where employees where they work while 9.8 % were business owners and 14.8% self-employed. Over 50% had a monthly income of above N100, 000. 73.4% of the fully insured workers and 58.3% of the partially insured workers sought health care from optimal sources (saw a qualified medical doctor) while almost half (46.3%) of the workers without health insurance sought care from unwholesome sources like self-medication, prayer houses and herbs.
Conclusion: The study concluded that there is a significant relationship between health insurance coverage and treatment-seeking behaviour of people who work in Port Harcourt and a worker with a health insurance cover is about two times more likely to seek optimal healthcare from a qualified medical doctor than a worker who is not insured.

Keywords: Heath insurance, Treatment-seeking behaviour, Moral hazards.

Cite this article: Alali Aloni Adolphus. Health insurance coverage and treatment-seeking behaviour of people working in Port Harcourt. Yen Med J. 2020;2(2):56–64.

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