Physical Barriers and Attitudes towards Accessing Healthcare in a Rural Muslim Population in Nepal
Keywords:healthcare access, healthcare attitudes, healthcare inequity, Muslim, Nepal, physical access, rural healthcare
The 2015-2020 Nepali Government’s National Health Sector Strategy notes that Muslims have the lowest rates of healthcare utilization in Nepal without specifications as to factors associated with the low rate. This study assessed physical barriers and attitudes towards accessing healthcare amongst a rural Muslim population in the Nepali terai. Significant results indicated that the Muslim population was more likely to utilize distant public care than closer private care, and experienced longer travel times than their Hindu counterparts. Muslims also reported significantly lower satisfaction in healthcare accessibility. Results from this study verify this gap and indicate that transportation, satisfaction, and private vs. public care may be important factors. Future research should aim to identify and address the underlying mechanisms that lead to these large equity gaps.
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