The study investigated the determinants of households’ choice of health care provider in Nigeria. Individual and household based questionnaires were used for the study. Using the simple random sampling model, the findings revealed that both distance and money prices are significant factors in discouraging individuals from seeking modern health care services but money prices was less important as a determinant of the choice of health care provider. And from the descriptive analysis, money price was a major reason why many low income households opted for the self-care option. Furthermore, the study showed that older people tend to patronize public and private hospitals.
- Background of the study
Adequate utilization of healthcare services is important to maintaining a quality life. Economic productivity of any nation depends largely on the health of its labour force. This fact dictates that any nation desirous of improving its productivity must put in place policies to ensure adequate access to quality healthcare (Kamgnia, 2008; Kouadio, Monsan and Gbongue, 2008). In Nigeria, several policy interventions have been executed over the years aimed at improving the quality of health of Nigerians. Health Care Services are services produced by medical and related health professions for the prevention, treatment and management of illness and the preservation of mental, social and physical wellbeing. They help to maintain good health among individuals and in the community as a whole thereby decreasing the morbidity and mortality especially when these services are utilized. Health Care Services could be primary, secondary or tertiary. Primary health care services are provided closest to the people where they live. This increases the availability of the services to the people. It is disheartening that in developing countries, people often fall sick and dies of diseases that are preventable and treatable. Most of such individuals do not benefit from modern health knowledge and technology which could help restore their health. The reasons for such unnecessary deaths are varied. Some communities do not have access to good and efficient health services. People in communities with health facilities often fail to make appropriate use of them. People lack the essential knowledge on how to live healthy, recognize dangerous signs and situations and mobilize resources to solve health problems. The very high morbidity and mortality rates (especially in the rural areas) of these developing countries can also be due to poor hygiene and lack of funds and unmet drug needs.
In areas where health care services are readily available, the factors that determine the utilization of the services ranges from lack of awareness to low level of education, distance to health care, bureaucracy in the medical practice and mismanagement of facilities and equipment. Those who can’t afford the cost of care in the hospitals, opt for traditional healers and other spiritual homes. The Health Care industry is a complex of preventive, medical and therapeutic services provided by hospitals and other institutions, Nurses, Doctors, Dentists, Medical Administrators, government agencies, voluntary agencies, non-institutional care facilities, pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturers and health insurance companies. The health care industry consist Hospitals care which may be on an in-patient or out-patient basis; Nursing and residential care facilities which provide round the clock social and personal care to children, elderly and others who have limited ability to care for themselves. There are also offices of Physicians and Dentists who practice privately; home Health Care Services and other Health Practitioners like chiropractors, podiatrists, optometrists, audiologists, psychologists and dietitians. Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories provide analytic and diagnostic services to the medical profession or directly to patients following a physician’s prescription
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Health Care Services are services produced by medical and related health professions for the prevention, treatment and management of illness and the preservation of mental, social and physical wellbeing. They help to maintain good health among individuals and in the community as a whole thereby decreasing the morbidity and mortality especially when these services are utilized. Health Care Services could be primary, secondary or tertiary. Primary health care services are provided closest to the people where they live. It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate the factors that determine patient choice of health care providers in Uyo.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to ascertain the determinant of patient choice of health care providers in Uyo; but for the successful completion of the study the researcher intends to achieve the following objectives;
- To ascertain the factors that determine patient choice of health care provider
- To evaluate the relationship between the choice of service provider and the health of the patient
- To ascertain the role of finance in the determination of choice of health care provider
- To ascertain the impact of awareness program on the determination of choice of service provider
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study; the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher
H0: there is no significant relationship between the choice of health care provider and the health of the patient.
H1: there is a significant relationship between the choice of health care provider and the health of the patient
H02: finance does not play any significant role in the determination of choice of health care provider
H2: finance does play a significant role in the determination of choice of health care provider.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the study will be useful to patient who has the right of choosing where and when to subscribe to health care services as it is often said that health is wealth; the study will also be of importance to the federal ministry of health and the Nigerian medical association who are the regulatory body of the health care sector to formulate policies, set standards and ensure absolute compliance by all health care provider to ensure quality service delivery to the consumer. The study will also be beneficial to researchers who intend to embark on study in similar topic as the study will serve as a guide to their study. Finally the study will be beneficial to academia’s students and the general public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the determinant of patient choice of health care providers in Uyo. During the cause of the study, there are some factors which militate against the study, thereby limiting its scope;
(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Health is the level of functional and metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans it is the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, mental, psychological and social changes. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in its 1948 constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Health care or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in human beings. … It includes the work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health.
Choice involves decision making. It can include judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one or more of them. One can make a choice between imagined options (“What would I do if”) or between real options followed by the corresponding action
1.8 Organization of the study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made of the study.
This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research
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