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cover page image Views of General Public on Health System issues in four Asian Countries.

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Bhatia, Mirgesh, Ravi P. Rannan-Eliya, Aparnaa Somanathan, Mohammed N. Huq, Badri Pande and Batbayar Chuluunzagd
1 Jun 2005 | 29 pages

Equitap Working Paper Number 13.

Abstract: In recent years number of Asian countries have witnessed significant changes to their health care system both in terms of financing and delivery of health care. While health sector reforms and their impact on equity and efficiency have been addressed to some extent, the views of the general public have rarely been examined. One of the ways to assess public views is by conducting opinion polls. Public opinion polls are commonlyconducted in the developed countries to inform policy makers of the publicís views on health systems issues but such surveys have hardly been conducted in a developing country context. This paper presents the comparative results of a opinion poll survey conducted among the general population of 4 Asian countries: Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Mongolia. Data was collected from a nationally representative sample of 1014 respondents in Bangladesh, 1001 in Mongolia, 1500 in Nepal and 2002 in Sri Lanka, through personal interviews using a standardised questionnaire. The design of the survey questionnaire was aimed at capturing both respondentsí knowledge and their opinion on specific health system issues including access to government health services. The results show high level of dissatisfaction with government health services in all the countries. Majority of the respondents felt that major changes were needed to improve the working of the health system. Access to government health services, especially for the poor, was an important concern among the respondents. One in every two respondents in these countries expressed that their governments did not consider their views at all in shapinghealth care services. Policy implications of the study findings are discussed.