“HEALTH SEEKING BEHAVIOR AND UTILIZATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES BY THE RURAL POPULATION OF YAVATMAL DISTRICT IN THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA.”

Prof. Dr.Nilima Sonavane

Abstract


In this study, an attempt has been made to investigate the Health Seeking Behavior of the rural community in Yavatmal districts of Maharashtra state, India. This paper further explores the patterns of utilization of public health services by the selected rural community.  An extensive primary healthcare infrastructure provided by the Government exists in the area. Yet, it is inadequate in terms of coverage of the population and grossly underutilized because of the quality of healthcare being provided and the geographical diversity.

 

The findings revealed that, people generally do not pay much attention towards the health problems at the initial stage; they usually prescribe medicine to self followed by a visit to the local faith healer. The people are not aware about the various schemes available and that is the reason they are deprived from availing those schemes and services.  The next stage involves visiting an ill-qualified or unqualified medical practitioner, depending upon availability. It is only in very advanced stages of the problem that the help of a qualified medical person is sought. Even if they have been attended by the health care providers it take a long time to diagnose the problems and start the treatment, as a result, most people, even the below poverty line, choose expensive healthcare services provided by the largely unregulated private sector, this not only face the poor toward double burden of poverty and ill-health but the financial burden of ill health can push even the non-poor into poverty and even towards the suicide attempts. The rural people express the various reasons for not availing the public health services and their preference for the private practitioners.

 

The paper concluded with the provision of pharmaceutical training to the, Graduate Chemist, so they can communicate with the Medical Officers and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives through telemedicine or mobile phone before prescribing medicine to the people in emergency. It is recommended that the AYUSH training is to be given to the traditional faith healers and involving them under the public private and community partnership for providing Public Health Services. It is strongly suggested that there should be Sub- centre in each village with residential male and female MPHW.


Keywords


Health seeking behavior, Utilization of public health service, preference and barriers of health services, people friendly health services and community participation.

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References


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