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Cost of Treating Maternal Complications and Associated Factors in Mekelle General Hospital, Northern Ethiopia

Authors Abadi T, Mebratie AD

Received 13 October 2020

Accepted for publication 10 December 2020

Published 8 January 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 87—95


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto

Teamir Abadi,1 Anagaw Derseh Mebratie2

1Health Bureau Health Care Financing Reform Case Team, Tigray Regional Health Bureau, Mekelle, Ethiopia; 2School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Teamir Abadi
Tigray Regional Health Bureau, Mekelle, Ethiopia
Tel +251914423809
Fax +251344408830

Background: The government of Ethiopia introduced an exemption policy that guarantees free maternal healthcare services from public providers. This policy aims to ensure financial protection and enhance utilization of services especially for low-income people. However, patients in most cases incur health expenditure when seeking health care. This paper aims to assess direct and indirect medical costs of treating maternal complications and associated factors at a public hospital in Northern Ethiopia.
Methods: An institution-based cross-sectional study design was carried on 267 mothers with complications. A multivariate linear regression model at 5% level of significance was used to analyze factors driving the outcome.
Results: The median cost was more than seven times the monthly minimum wage, and this may cause severe financial consequences for the poor. Direct medical costs accounted for the major share (68%) of total cost, and this was mainly driven by lack of diagnostic services at public facilities and paying for private providers. Expenditure for treatment of maternal complications is positively associated with income, absence from work, travel time to the facility and being diagnosed at a private facility.
Conclusion: The overall evidence in this study poses a concern about the context in which fee exemption reforms are being implemented.

Keywords: maternal complications, treatment, direct and indirect costs, Mekelle, Ethiopia

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