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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences
Title Health inequality in Jamaica, 1988-2007
Author(s)
Volume 3
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Page numbers 3040-3052
URL http://ajbasweb.com/old/ajbas/2009/3040-3052.pdf
Abstract
Objective: The mortality for men is not only greater than that of women as indicated bythe life expectancy but of the five leading cause of death in the nation (malignant neoplasms;cerebrovascular disease; heart disease; diabetes mellitus and homicides), the rates for men were greaterin four (malignant neoplasms; cerebrovascular; heart disease and homicides). Despite these realities,men seek less medical care than the women and stay longer in hospitals for curative care. This studyexamines medical seeking behaviour, self-reported ill-health, and gender differential in medical seekinghealth care and self-reported ill-health. Method: The current research used secondary data. The datawere extracted from the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC) on medical care seekingbehaviour, self-reported illness (or ill-health) and the gender composition of those who reported ill-health. The JSLC was born out of the World Bank’s Living Standard Survey. Data were also takenfrom the Ministry of Health’s Annual Report, which provided statistics on actual percentage ofJamaicans who visited public hospitals. The current study used 19 years of published data extractedfrom the JSLC (1988-2007). Scatter diagrams and best fitted lines were used to examine correlationsand trends. Results: Over a 2-decade period, 1988 to 2007, only a small percentage of Jamaicansreported ill-health (between 9 to 19 %) and 15.5% in 2007, which is an increase of 3.3% over theprevious year. Despite this low figure, increasingly more men sought medical care over the studyperiod (41.1%) compared to women (29%). Nevertheless, health care seeking behaviour is still genderbias – 68.1% of women and 62.8% of men who reported health conditions. For men, more of medicalcare seeking behaviour is explained by ill-health (r-squared=35.4%) than women (r-squared 8.8%).Conclusion: This study is one of the first to examine and provide some explanation on genderdifferentials in health care behaviour and self-reported illness/injury in Jamaica. We found that whilemore men who report ill-health have been seeking medical care, the gap between the sexes in regardhealth seeking behaviour has been narrowing

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