Factors influencing healthcare-seeking behaviour of South African adolescents
Omotoso, Kehinde Oluwaseun
Adewole, Ololade Grace
Gbadegesin, Taiwo Frances
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Omotoso, K.O., Adesina, J., Adewole, O.G. and Gbadegesin, T.F. (2022) ‘Factors influencing healthcare-seeking behaviour of South African adolescents’, Journal of Public Health, 30(10), pp. 2427–2439. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10389-021-01572-4.
Aims Access to healthcare, especially among adolescents, is a public health issue with long-lasting health and socio-economic consequences. Adolescence is a distinctive growing period for developing healthcare behaviour that can either improve or worsen future health conditions. Hence, the need for quality healthcare behaviour among adolescents who usually constitute a large proportion of any country’s population, is imperative. This paper thus examines the impact of medical aid coverage and other socio-economic factors in determining South African adolescents’ utilisation of either private or public healthcare facilities in the event of illness. By extension, the study investigates the effects of pertinent parental characteristics on South African adolescents’ choices of either private or public healthcare facilities. Subject and methods Data come from the population-weighted 2018 General Household Survey (GHS). Units of analysis include adolescents within the ages of 10 and 19 years. The empirical analysis relies primarily on a regressions-based model and instrumental variable approach. Results Result indicates that younger adolescents are more likely to use public healthcare facilities in the event of illness than older adolescents. However, adolescents who are medically covered are less likely to utilise public healthcare facilities in the event of illness. Further findings suggest that the likelihood of using public healthcare facilities is higher among adolescents who are black Africans, live in relatively poor households, large households and rural areas. Conclusion Further implementation and review of any national health policy such as the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme needs to address and take into consideration adolescents’ healthcare utlisation and socio-economic variations in their healthcare utilisation.