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SHORT COMMUNICATION Table of Contents   
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 46  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 295-299
Self-referral to the university hospital resulting in unnecessary patient expenses: A prospective descriptive study in a super-tertiary hospital


Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Varisara Luvira
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen
Thailand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_422_20

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Context: Thailand subsidizes health-care costs, allowing citizens access to health care without out-of-pocket expenses. However, some citizens still spend large amounts of money on treatment provided at tertiary care hospitals. Aim: To identify the proportion of patients whose visits are not covered by national health insurance at the tertiary hospital and their reasons for visiting. Settings and Design: Prospective, descriptive study in patients visiting Srinagarind hospital outpatient department from July to September 2019. Subjects and Methods: We gathered and analyzed the data regarding demographics, hospital visits, and illness severity using a questionnaire. Statistical Analysis Used: Descriptive analyses and logistic regression were performed as appropriate. Results: Of the 700 participants, 40% (95% confidence interval 36.3–43.7) was not covered for their visits. The three common reasons visiting this hospital were desire of treatment from a specialist (42.9%), the reputation of the hospital (31.4%), and service satisfaction (26.6%). Conclusions: Although the national health-care system provides a gratis service pathway, some people still pay out-of-pocket unnecessarily. Officials should work to better raise the level of public confidence in the primary and secondary care units.


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