Self-reported illnesses and service utilisation among migrants working in small-to medium sized enterprises in Guangdong, China
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Zou, G., Zeng, Z., Chen, W. & Ling, L. (2015) Self-reported illnesses and service utilisation among migrants working in small-to medium sized enterprises in Guangdong, China, Public Health, vol. 7, , pp. 970-978,
Objectives: As one of the most vulnerable populations in China, many migrants work in the small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This study aims to describe the self-reported illnesses and service utilization of the migrants working in the SMEs in Pearl River Delta Areas (PRDA) of Guangdong province, China. Study design: Cross-sectional survey. Methods: We interviewed 856 migrants working in the SMEs of different manufacturing industries in 2012. Descriptive analysis was employed to report self-reported illnesses and service utilisation among migrants in the last two weeks and in the last year. Statistical tests such as 2 test were used to explore factors influencing their service utilisation. Results: In the last two weeks, 91(11%) of the respondents reported having any illness. The most reported illness was respiratory problem (69%), while 9.9%, 7.7% and 13% reported having digestive, skin and other problems respectively. The most important symptom was cough (39%). Thirty-seven percent of the respondents who reported any illness had visited health facilities. The lower income group were more likely to visit health facilities than the higher income group (P=0.006). The most reported reason for not visiting health facilities was 'feeling not serious' (65%). In the last year, 13% reported having respiratory problems and 7.8% reported accidental injuries. Less than 3% received hospitalization care. The proportion of those without hospitalization to those who should have been hospitalized was 31%. Conclusion: Underuse of the health service among migrants working in the SMEs could be associated with the 'healthy migrant' effect. However, when assessed among the ill migrants in the SMEs, the utilisation rate was still low mainly due to their poor health awareness. Improving their risk perception and integration of occupational and general health service is crucial to improve the health conditions and utilisation of service among migrants in the SMES. 2015 The Royal Society for Public Health.