An Economy-Ralated Equity Analysis of Health Service Utilization by Women in Economically Underdeveloped Regions of Western China

Int J Equity Health. 2017 Oct 27;16(1):186. doi: 10.1186/s12939-017-0667-y.


Background: The Chinese government has long been committed to eliminating the inequality in the utilization of health services; however, it still lacks an analysis or measurement of the economy-related inequality in the utilization of women's health services.

Methods: The economy-related utilization of health services in women aged 15 years and above was assessed by the horizontal inequity index of a two-week outpatient rate and annual inpatient rate from the 5th National Health Service Survey of Shaanxi Province. The concentration index of each factor was decomposed into the contribution of each factor to the economic-related inequality of health service utilization based on the Probit regression model.

Results: The horizontal inequity indexes of the two-week outpatient rate was 0.0493, and the horizontal inequity indexes of the annual impatient rate was 0.0869. The contributions of economic status to the two indexes were 190.71% and 115.80%, respectively. Economic status, age, basic medical insurance, educational status, marital status, urban/rural area, and self-rated health were the main impact factors that affected the inequality in women's health services utilization in Shaanxi.

Conclusions: Health service utilization was different between women with different social demographic characteristics, and unequal health service utilization is evident among women in Shaanxi.

Keywords: Chinese; Health equity; Utilization; women’s health services.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • China
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Equity / economics*
  • Healthcare Disparities / economics*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Women's Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult