WHY WORKERS DO NOT USE HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN PUBLIC CLINICS- A CASE OF NON-CITIZENS IN MALAYSIA
Migration of large number of people creates opportunities for the transmission of common or novel infectious diseases. Most non-citizens in this country are from least developed and poor countries, therefore, receiving treatment in public sector is more affordable for them as the Malaysian government subsidizes health care heavily. This study is aimed to find the reasons that hinder immigrant workers to use public clinic services.
To achieve the objective of the study survey was conducted to target immigrant workers in the urban regions in Malaysia. From 360 questionnaires distributed we managed to collect 352 samples (97.77% response rate). Questionnaire was divided into three sections; demographic characteristics, general questions and questions related to barriers.
The result of this study shows that, most of the respondents (75.9%) seek treatment in private clinic when they are ill and 58% refer to private clinics for routine medical checkup. Around 73% of our sample population believes inequality exists in access to primary health care services between immigrant workers and citizens.
The main personal factor was the participants’ belief about necessity of receiving the services from the clinics. Long waiting time and long distance to public clinics were the most important structural factors. Transportation cost and having insurance coverage which could benefit at private clinics are known as financial barriers for the respondents. However, the most important barriers amongst these three types are structural barrier followed by personal barrier, and financial barrier seems to be less significant.
Keywords:Immigrants, Health Care, Public Clinics, Utilization
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