Objectives: Universal healthcare coverage cannot be achieved in Africa as long as the indigent, the poorest, are unable to access healthcare systems. This study was carried out in Burkina Faso to obtain street-level workers' perspectives on what criteria should be used to select indigents to be exempted from user fees.
Methods: Two group consensus techniques were used (Delphi and Concept Mapping). The participants were nurses (CM; n = 24), midwives (CM; n = 23) from a rural district and Social Action agents (CM; n = 31) and healthcare workers (Delphi n = 23) in training at two national schools.
Results: Altogether, 446 criteria were proposed. The nurses put forward criteria related to being ill without support and being a victim of society. The midwives focused more on the disabled poor and those who were ill and unsupported. The healthcare workers in training mentioned disabled persons and the elderly with no family support. The Social Action agents spoke about vulnerability related to illness or disability and the fact of being excluded or being a disaster victim.
Conclusions: These criteria proposed by street-level workers add to other studies conducted in Burkina Faso and should help the State to improve indigents' access to care.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.