Households’ choices of healthcare services in the north west region of Cameroon
Efficient healthcare systems in developing economies are significant indicators of development. Health can either be optimised households’ choices between preventive and curative healthcare services. In Cameroon like other developing countries, domestic healthcare service is either considered to be a normal or luxury good to households with competing alternative providers such as the public and private providers. To examine the healthcare preferences of households in the North West Region of Cameroon, a purposive sample of 300 households were collected and analysed using a multinomial logistic model. Households’ characteristics such as sex and age of household heads, marital status of household heads and monthly income as well as providers’ specific characteristics such as the reputation of the healthcare providers are significant determinants households ‘healthcare choices. Implicitly the reputation of the healthcare provider serves as a signal for households to overcome information asymmetry on the quality of healthcare services offered. This study suggests that standardizing the measure of reputation of healthcare providers would be an efficient signal of quality to healthcare clients. Also, household access to quality healthcare can be improved with efficient healthcare support programs and deferred payment options.
Keywords: Healthcare Services; Healthcare Providers; Multinomial Logistic Model; Healthcare Systems; Primary Healthcare
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