Socioeconomic inequalities in the use of medical consultation services in Peru, 2019

Renato Díaz-Ruiz, Rodrigo Vargas-Fernández, Carlos Rojas-Roque, Akram Hernández-Vásquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Socioeconomic inequalities in the population influence access to health services and constitute a challenge for health systems, especially in low- and middle-income countries. In Peru, an increase in the use of medical services has been estimated; however, the study of inequalities in the use of medical services is limited. Therefore, the objective of this research was to analyze and decompose socioeconomic inequalities in the use of medical consultation services in Peru. Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted using data from the National Household Survey 2019. The outcome variable was the use of a consultation attended by a physician in the last 4 weeks in persons who presented symptom or discomfort, illness, relapse of chronic disease and/or accident. Concentration curves and Erreygers concentration indices were used to determine socioeconomic inequalities, and a generalized linear regression model was used for the decomposition analysis of inequalities. Results: A total of 52,715 persons were included in the study. The frequency of medical consultation was 25.4% (95% confidence interval: 24.8 − 26.1%). In the inequality analysis, it was found that the use of medical consultations was concentrated among the wealthiest individuals. The main contributing factors were having another type of health insurance (social health insurance [EsSalud], private health insurance, health provider, the Armed Forces, and the Police), residing in an urban area, belonging to the richest wealth quintile, having a chronic disease, and residing in the highlands of Peru. Conclusions: Based on our findings, government institutions seeking to achieve equitable access to health services should consider the main factors contributing to this inequality in the formulation of strategies to lessen the negative impact of inadequate disease control in the population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

Keywords

  • Ambulatory care
  • Health services
  • Peru
  • Socioeconomic disparities in Health

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