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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-94

Second-phase delay in accessing major elective surgeries from a public tertiary health institution in Nigeria: The role of financial constraints

1 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria; Department of Health Administration and Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ikenna I Nnabugwu
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ozalla Campus, Ituku PMB 01129, Enugu.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.IJMH_16_19

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Background: Many factors contribute to second-phase delay in accessing surgical care electively especially in low-income settings. The aim of this study was to evaluate second-phase delay in elective surgical care in a tertiary hospital. Materials and Methods: This study is a hospital-based cross-sectional survey conducted at a tertiary health institution in Nigeria from February to September 2017. Sampling units were households that accessed major elective surgical operation from the general surgery and urology units of the institution for an adult member (≥18 years of age) of the household. Analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences software version 20.0 (IBM SPSS Inc, Chicago, USA). Results: In total, 495 households representing same number of patients participated in the study. Second-phase interval was within one month in 16.2% of households. It was delayed 2–6 months in 55.2% of households, 6–12 months in 16.2% of households, and more than 12 months in 12.5% of households. Financial constraint was reported as reason for the observed second-phase interval in 54.7% of households with 93.4% of these households delayed for longer than one month and 38.0% for more than six months. Financial constraint was significantly more prevalent among larger households (OR 7.64; 95%CI 1.89–30.78; P < 0.01) and households in the lower wealth quartiles (OR 0.73; 95%CI 0.55–0.97; P = 0.03). Few households (7.1%) accessed health insurance for the prescribed major surgery and only 8.6% of those insured households reported financial constraints. Conclusion: Longer second-phase delay attributable to financial constraints is prevalent among larger households comprising mostly children, households in the lower socioeconomic quartiles, and uninsured households.

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