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Waiting time at health facilities and social class: Evidence from the Indian caste system

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Title: Waiting time at health facilities and social class: Evidence from the Indian caste system
Authors: Shaikh, M
Miraldo, M
Renner, A-T
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Waiting time for non-emergency medical care in developing countries is rarely of immediate concern to policy makers that prioritize provision of basic health services. However, waiting time as a measure of health system responsiveness is important because longer waiting times worsen health outcomes and affect utilization of services. Studies that assess socio-economic inequalities in waiting time provide evidence from developed countries such as England and the United States; evidence from developing countries is lacking. In this paper, we assess the relationship between social class i.e. caste of an individual and waiting time at health facilities—a client orientation dimension of responsiveness. We use household level data from two rounds of the Indian Human Development Survey with a sample size of 27,251 households in each wave (2005 and 2012) and find that lower social class is associated with higher waiting time. This relationship is significant for individuals that visited a male provider but not so for those that visited a female provider. Further, caste is positively related to higher waiting time only if visiting a private facility; for individuals visiting a government facility the relationship between waiting time and caste is not significant. In general, caste related inequality in waiting time has worsened over time. The results are robust to different specifications and the inclusion of several confounders.
Issue Date: 15-Oct-2018
Date of Acceptance: 29-Sep-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/65239
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205641
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Journal / Book Title: PLoS ONE
Volume: 13
Issue: 10
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Shaikh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
MD Multidisciplinary
General Science & Technology
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: e0205641
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School