Inequalities in non-communicable diseases in urban Hanoi, Vietnam: health care utilization, expenditure and responsiveness of commune health stations
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Background: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among adults in Vietnam. Little is known about the magnitude of socioeconomic inequalities in NCDs and other NCD-related factors in urban areas, in particular among the poor living in slum areas. Understanding these disparities are essential in contributing to the knowledge, needed to reduce inequalities and close the related health gaps burdening the disadvantaged populations in urban areas.
Objective: To examine the burden and health system responsiveness to NCDs in Hanoi, Vietnam and investigate the role of socioeconomic inequalities in their prevalence, subsequent healthcare utilization and related impoverishment due to health expenditures.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 3,736 individuals aged 15 years and over who lived in 1211 randomly selected households in 2013 in urban Hanoi, Vietnam. The study collected information on household’s characteristics, household expenditures, and household member information. A qualitative approach was implemented to explore the responsiveness of commune health stations to the increasing burden of NCDs in urban Hanoi. In-depth interview approach was conducted among health staff involved in NCD tasks at four commune health stations in urban Hanoi. Furthermore, NCD managers at relevance district, provincial and national levels were interviewed.
Results: The prevalence of self-reported NCDs was significantly higher among individuals in non-slum areas (11.6%) than those in slum areas (7.9%). However, the prevalence of self-reported NCDs concentrated among the poor in both slum and non-slum areas. In slum areas, the poor needed more health care services, but the rich consumed more health care services. Among households with at least one household member reporting diagnosis of NCDs, the proportion of household facing catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment were the greater in slum areas than in non-slum areas. Poor households in slum areas were more likely to face catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment. The poor in non-slum areas were also more likely to face impoverishment if their household members experienced NCDs. Health system responses to NCDs at commune health stations in urban Hanoi were weak, characterized by the lack of health information, inadequate human resources, poor financing, inadequate quality and quantity of services, lack of essential medicines. The commune health stations were not prepared to respond to the rising prevalence of NCDs in urban Hanoi.
Conclusion: This thesis shows the existence of socioeconomic inequalities in the prevalence of self-reported NCDs in both non-slum and slum areas in urban Hanoi. NCDs associated with the inequalities in health care utilization, catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment, particular in slum areas. Appropriate interventions should focus more on specific population groups to reduce the socioeconomic inequalities in the NCD prevalence and health care utilization related to NCDs to prevent catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment among the households of NCD patients. The functions of commune health stations in the urban setting should be strengthened through the development of NCDs service packages covered by the health insurance.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2016. , 76 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1845
socioeconomic inequalities, non-communicable diseases, health care utilization, catastrophic health expenditure, impoverishment, health system, commune health stations, Hanoi, Vietnam
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-126045ISBN: 978-91-7601-564-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-126045DiVA: diva2:974765
2016-10-21, Betula, Building 6M, Norrlands University Hospital, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Krettek, Alexandra, Professor
Ng, Nawi, ProfessorWeinehall, Lars, ProfessorEriksson, Malin, Associate professor
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