Access to Antenatal Care Services in Public and Private Sectors and Service Utilization in Vietnam

Mai Do, Tulane University

The private sector has increasingly become a significant source of health services in Vietnam; yet little is known about how access to services in public and private sectors affects utilization, and equity in service utilization. This study addresses these questions using data on antenatal care (ANC) in rural Vietnam, which comes from the 2002 Demographic and Health Survey. The sample includes 1,317 childbirths in three years before the survey. The probability of ANC visits in the first trimester and having at least three visits increased with ANC services being provided at a commune health center (CHC) within 5 kilometers. A private doctor providing ANC services within 5 kilometers was positively associated only with the former outcome. Inequity seemed reduced with ANC services at CHC but not with that of private providers. The study suggests quality may be more important than access to services and indicates a need for further investigations.

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Presented in Poster Session 5