Utilisation of maternal health care in western rural China under a new rural health insurance system (New Co-operative Medical System).
SUMMARY OBJECTIVE: To investigate factors influencing maternal health care utilisation in western rural China and its relation to income before (2002) and after (2007) introducing a new rural health insurance system (NCMS). METHODS: Data from cross-sectional household-based health surveys carried out in ten western rural provinces of China in 2003 and 2008 were used in the study. The study population comprised women giving birth in 2002 or 2007, with 917 and 809 births, respectively. Correlations between outcomes and explanatory variables were studied by logistic regression models and a log-linear model. RESULTS: Between 2002 and 2007, having no any pre-natal visit decreased from 25% to 12% (difference 13%, 95% CI 10-17%); facility-based delivery increased from 45% to 80% (difference 35%, 95% CI 29-37%); and differences in using pre-natal and delivery care between the income groups narrowed. In a logistic regression analysis, women with lower education, from minority groups, or high parity were less likely to use pre-natal and delivery care in 2007. The expenditure for facility-based delivery increased over the period, but the out-of-pocket expenditure for delivery as a percentage of the annual household income decreased. In 2007, it was 14% in the low-income group. NCMS participation was found positively correlated with lower out-of-pocket expenditure for facility-based delivery (coefficient -1.14 P < 0.05) in 2007. CONCLUSIONS: Facility-based delivery greatly increased between 2002 and 2007, coinciding with the introduction of the NCMS. The rural poor were still facing substantial payment for facility-based delivery, although NCMS participation reduced the out-of-pocket expenditure on average.
Long, Q; Zhang, T; Xu, L; Tang, S; Hemminki, E
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