Socioeconomic Factors Affecting Informal Payments in the Health Sector

Mohammad MESKARPOUR-AMIRI, Abbas ASSARI ARANI, Hosein SADEGHI, Lotfali AGHELI-KOHNEHSHAHRI

Abstract


Informal payments are a signifi cant source for fi nancing health systems in many developing and transition countries. The aim of our study was the assessment of the infl uence of patients’ socioeconomic status on their informal payment for health care. This article presents a cross-sectional and applied research that was conducted in a general public hospital in Iran during April 2014. The population of the study was all the 1,035 patients discharged during April 2014. Data gathering was done using a questionnaire. An ordered logistic regression model based on a truncated method was estimated to investigate factors affecting informal health payments. About 48% of respondents reported at least one experience of informal payment for health care during the previous year. The results showed that the patients’ socioeconomic status can signifi cantly affect the likelihood and frequency of informal payments for health care. Older people, members of small and wealthier families, employed persons, and those who are under coverage of only basic medical insurance are more at risk of making such payments. Policymakers should pay more attention to such socioeconomic groups in order to improve the effectiveness of policies.


Keywords


socioeconomic factors, informal health payments, health fi nancing.

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