Rural household expenditure on health: analyzing correlates of out-of-pocket spending on health in Itukulu Village Kamuli District, Uganda
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Direct out-of-pocket expenditures for medical treatment are acknowledged to restrict access to medical services and to jeopardize household welfare. Such payments account for a sizable amount of health spending in Uganda. This study investigated the predictors of rural household out-of-pocket expenditure on health. Specifically, the study sought to examine the impact of socioeconomic, demographic and facility related factors on the out-of-pocket expenditure on health. Analysis was conducted on a sample of 134 households in Itukulu village Kamuli District. Baseline characteristics of respondents were presented using percentages and proportions. Multiple linear regression was used to investigate the factors affecting rural household out-of-pocket expenditure on health. The findings indicated that costs on medicine accounted for 43.63% of out-of-pocket expenditure on health. Existence of persons over 60 years of age in the household was significant with out-of-pocket expenditure on health at 99% level of confidence (p-value 0.009). Income status of the household head among households with stable income status is statistically significant with out-of-pocket expenditure at 1% significance level (p-values 0.006). Distance to health facility of first consultation was significant with out-of-pocket expenditure on health (p-value 0.076) at 90% level of significance. This study provides imperative insights into the determinants of rural household out-of-pocket expenditure on health. In light of the findings, demographic, socio-economic and facility related factors influence rural household out-of-pocket expenditure on health. Specifically, existence of persons above 60 years in the household, income status of the household, distance to the facility of first consultation significantly influence Out-of-pocket expenditure on health. There is therefore need to take efforts and give persons over 60 years priority in government health facilities. Stakeholders should provide transport to health facilities for households in the village, this will significantly reduce the amount of out-of-pocket expenditure on health that is spent on transportation fees.