Relationship between Socio-Economic Status and out-of-Pocket Expenses on Healthcare in Rural Nigeria

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Authors : Oluwakemi Tomori Edet-Utan


The socio-economic status of individuals, households and community play a key role in their health status especially for those in rural areas amongst which the pauper dwells. The fact that out-of-pocket(OOPs)expenses especially amongst the rural poor leads to more poverty/impoverishment, indebtedness and or death calls for strategic and highly efficient health financing measures to resolves issues around OOPs. This study thus, seeks to understand the relationship between the socio-economic status of rural dwellers in Ejigbo LGA and out-of-pocket expenses made on their healthcare.

This cross sectional study was carried out Utilizing an interviewer administered questionnaire to 1280 respondents who were selected using stratified random sampling of respondents in structures and households. SPSS version 21 was used to analyse the data obtained. Level of Educational attainment, income/earnings per month and occupation were scaled and cumulated to obtain the socio-economic scale/status

Majority of respondents belong to the lower socio-economic class, and had up to secondary level education. More than half of the rural dwellers earn between 10,000 ($62.5 US). In this study, 64.4% of respondents spent 5,000 ($31.25 US) or less on their health through out-of-pocket spending (OOPs) in 3 months consequently about 1,666.66 ($10.41 US) in a month.

A statistically significant correlation was found between SES of respondents in rural area and their OOPs on healthcare. An increase in SES revealed an increase in OOPs. A significant relationship was found between the SES of respondents and the OOPs on healthcare which was a reflection of educational status, occupation and income/earnings of community members. This survey also reveals that the poorer the people, the less they spend on their healthcare owing to the fact that they have low earnings/income. Hence, there is need for more efficient risk pooling mechanisms in order to assure equity in healthcare service delivery.


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