Is outpatient care benefit distribution of government healthcare subsidies equitable in rural ethnic minority areas of China? Results from cross-sectional studies in 2010 and 2013

Mingsheng Chen, Dongfu Qian, Zhanchun Feng, Lei Si

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives Government healthcare subsidies for healthcare facilities play a significant role in providing more extensive healthcare access to patients, especially poor ones. However, equitable distribution of these subsidies continues to pose a challenge in rural ethnic minority areas of China. This study aimed to evaluate the benefits distribution of outpatient services across different socioeconomic populations in China's rural ethnic minority areas. Setting Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province. Design Two rounds of cross-sectional study. Participants One thousand and seventy patients in 2010 and 907 patients in 2013, who sought outpatient services prior to completing the household surveys, were interviewed. Methods Benefits incidence analysis was performed to measure the benefits distribution of government healthcare subsidies across socioeconomic groups. The concentration index (CI) for outpatient care at different healthcare facility levels in rural ethnic minority areas was calculated. Two rounds of household surveys using multistage stratified samples were conducted. Findings The overall CI for outpatient care was -0.0146 (P>0.05) in 2010 and -0.0992 (P<0.01) in 2013. In 2010, the CI was -0.0537 (P<0.01), -0.0085 (P>0.05) and '0.0034 (P>0.05) at levels of village clinics (VCs), township health centres (THCs) and county hospitals (CHs), respectively. In 2013, the CI was -0.1353 (P<0.05), -0.0695 (P>0.05) and -0.1633 (P<0.01) at the levels of VCs, THCs and CHs, respectively. Conclusion Implementation of the gatekeeper mechanism helped improve the benefits distribution of government healthcare subsidies in rural Chinese ethnic minority areas. Equitable distribution of government healthcare subsidies for VCs was improved by increasing financial input and ensuring the performance of primary healthcare facilities. Equitable distribution of subsidies for CHs was improved by policies that rationally guided patients' care-seeking behaviour. In addition, highly qualified physicians were also a key factor in ensuring equitable benefits distribution.

LanguageEnglish
Article numbere019564
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Open
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2018

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Government Financing
Ambulatory Care
China
Cross-Sectional Studies
Delivery of Health Care
County Hospitals
Health
Primary Health Care
Patient Care
Physicians
Incidence

Bibliographical note

Copyright The Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • benefit distribution
  • ethnic minority
  • government healthcare subsidies
  • Kakwani Index
  • outpatient care

Cite this

@article{44dda9918f814d3f9feae59a8640d5d6,
title = "Is outpatient care benefit distribution of government healthcare subsidies equitable in rural ethnic minority areas of China? Results from cross-sectional studies in 2010 and 2013",
abstract = "Objectives Government healthcare subsidies for healthcare facilities play a significant role in providing more extensive healthcare access to patients, especially poor ones. However, equitable distribution of these subsidies continues to pose a challenge in rural ethnic minority areas of China. This study aimed to evaluate the benefits distribution of outpatient services across different socioeconomic populations in China's rural ethnic minority areas. Setting Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province. Design Two rounds of cross-sectional study. Participants One thousand and seventy patients in 2010 and 907 patients in 2013, who sought outpatient services prior to completing the household surveys, were interviewed. Methods Benefits incidence analysis was performed to measure the benefits distribution of government healthcare subsidies across socioeconomic groups. The concentration index (CI) for outpatient care at different healthcare facility levels in rural ethnic minority areas was calculated. Two rounds of household surveys using multistage stratified samples were conducted. Findings The overall CI for outpatient care was -0.0146 (P>0.05) in 2010 and -0.0992 (P<0.01) in 2013. In 2010, the CI was -0.0537 (P<0.01), -0.0085 (P>0.05) and '0.0034 (P>0.05) at levels of village clinics (VCs), township health centres (THCs) and county hospitals (CHs), respectively. In 2013, the CI was -0.1353 (P<0.05), -0.0695 (P>0.05) and -0.1633 (P<0.01) at the levels of VCs, THCs and CHs, respectively. Conclusion Implementation of the gatekeeper mechanism helped improve the benefits distribution of government healthcare subsidies in rural Chinese ethnic minority areas. Equitable distribution of government healthcare subsidies for VCs was improved by increasing financial input and ensuring the performance of primary healthcare facilities. Equitable distribution of subsidies for CHs was improved by policies that rationally guided patients' care-seeking behaviour. In addition, highly qualified physicians were also a key factor in ensuring equitable benefits distribution.",
keywords = "benefit distribution, ethnic minority, government healthcare subsidies, Kakwani Index, outpatient care",
author = "Mingsheng Chen and Dongfu Qian and Zhanchun Feng and Lei Si",
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Is outpatient care benefit distribution of government healthcare subsidies equitable in rural ethnic minority areas of China? Results from cross-sectional studies in 2010 and 2013. / Chen, Mingsheng; Qian, Dongfu; Feng, Zhanchun; Si, Lei.

In: BMJ Open, Vol. 8, No. 2, e019564, 03.02.2018, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Is outpatient care benefit distribution of government healthcare subsidies equitable in rural ethnic minority areas of China? Results from cross-sectional studies in 2010 and 2013

AU - Chen, Mingsheng

AU - Qian, Dongfu

AU - Feng, Zhanchun

AU - Si, Lei

N1 - Copyright The Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

PY - 2018/2/3

Y1 - 2018/2/3

N2 - Objectives Government healthcare subsidies for healthcare facilities play a significant role in providing more extensive healthcare access to patients, especially poor ones. However, equitable distribution of these subsidies continues to pose a challenge in rural ethnic minority areas of China. This study aimed to evaluate the benefits distribution of outpatient services across different socioeconomic populations in China's rural ethnic minority areas. Setting Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province. Design Two rounds of cross-sectional study. Participants One thousand and seventy patients in 2010 and 907 patients in 2013, who sought outpatient services prior to completing the household surveys, were interviewed. Methods Benefits incidence analysis was performed to measure the benefits distribution of government healthcare subsidies across socioeconomic groups. The concentration index (CI) for outpatient care at different healthcare facility levels in rural ethnic minority areas was calculated. Two rounds of household surveys using multistage stratified samples were conducted. Findings The overall CI for outpatient care was -0.0146 (P>0.05) in 2010 and -0.0992 (P<0.01) in 2013. In 2010, the CI was -0.0537 (P<0.01), -0.0085 (P>0.05) and '0.0034 (P>0.05) at levels of village clinics (VCs), township health centres (THCs) and county hospitals (CHs), respectively. In 2013, the CI was -0.1353 (P<0.05), -0.0695 (P>0.05) and -0.1633 (P<0.01) at the levels of VCs, THCs and CHs, respectively. Conclusion Implementation of the gatekeeper mechanism helped improve the benefits distribution of government healthcare subsidies in rural Chinese ethnic minority areas. Equitable distribution of government healthcare subsidies for VCs was improved by increasing financial input and ensuring the performance of primary healthcare facilities. Equitable distribution of subsidies for CHs was improved by policies that rationally guided patients' care-seeking behaviour. In addition, highly qualified physicians were also a key factor in ensuring equitable benefits distribution.

AB - Objectives Government healthcare subsidies for healthcare facilities play a significant role in providing more extensive healthcare access to patients, especially poor ones. However, equitable distribution of these subsidies continues to pose a challenge in rural ethnic minority areas of China. This study aimed to evaluate the benefits distribution of outpatient services across different socioeconomic populations in China's rural ethnic minority areas. Setting Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province. Design Two rounds of cross-sectional study. Participants One thousand and seventy patients in 2010 and 907 patients in 2013, who sought outpatient services prior to completing the household surveys, were interviewed. Methods Benefits incidence analysis was performed to measure the benefits distribution of government healthcare subsidies across socioeconomic groups. The concentration index (CI) for outpatient care at different healthcare facility levels in rural ethnic minority areas was calculated. Two rounds of household surveys using multistage stratified samples were conducted. Findings The overall CI for outpatient care was -0.0146 (P>0.05) in 2010 and -0.0992 (P<0.01) in 2013. In 2010, the CI was -0.0537 (P<0.01), -0.0085 (P>0.05) and '0.0034 (P>0.05) at levels of village clinics (VCs), township health centres (THCs) and county hospitals (CHs), respectively. In 2013, the CI was -0.1353 (P<0.05), -0.0695 (P>0.05) and -0.1633 (P<0.01) at the levels of VCs, THCs and CHs, respectively. Conclusion Implementation of the gatekeeper mechanism helped improve the benefits distribution of government healthcare subsidies in rural Chinese ethnic minority areas. Equitable distribution of government healthcare subsidies for VCs was improved by increasing financial input and ensuring the performance of primary healthcare facilities. Equitable distribution of subsidies for CHs was improved by policies that rationally guided patients' care-seeking behaviour. In addition, highly qualified physicians were also a key factor in ensuring equitable benefits distribution.

KW - benefit distribution

KW - ethnic minority

KW - government healthcare subsidies

KW - Kakwani Index

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