The impact of cost-sharing on the consumers of public health services in rural Zambia : A case study of Senanga District Hospital
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The main aim of the study was to find out the extent to which the policy of cost-sharing is a barrier to accessing public health services at Senanga District Hospital. In order to address the objective of the study questionnaires were administered to members of the local community seeking medical treatment at Senanga District Hospital.A sample of one hundred and twenty (120) respondents were selected using purposive sampling method. The study used both qualitative and quantitative analysis and the rationale for the study was to fill an important information gap in the continuous process of updating and refining the national policy on cost-shering.The study examined the following aspects of the policy of cost-sharing: *> Ability to pay user fees. *> Willingness to pay user fees.<» The level of utilization of public health services at Senanga District Hospital and implementation of the policy of cost-sharing.The study found that the policy of cost-sharing was a barrier to accessing medical treatment for a large number of the respondents. The number of respondents who fell within the low income category was significant. Consequently, the investigation revealed that a large number of the respondents were finding difficulties in meeting the costs of public health services.It is hoped that the management of Senanga District Hospital would take necessary measures to address the factors contributing to under utilisation of public health services.