Health service utilization by a semi-urban community in Kedah, Malaysia, 2019

Mona Kanna Kodeesh Kanna, Khoo Wei Chin, Khoo Chun Yik, Saraswathi Bina Rai


Background: Socioeconomic development in Malaysia and the call for Universal health coverage has resulted in comprehensive health care being easily available and accessible at an exceptionally low cost to the people. The aim was to study the health utilization pattern of a semi-urban community to determine their health seeking preference, to understand the extent to which the medical facilities are being used by them and their level of satisfaction with the services received.

Methods: We used a pre-tested structured questionnaire, with face-to-face interview of representatives of randomly selected households in 2 housing estates in Kedah. The questionnaire covered education level, income, and information relevant to health service utilization. Data, after verification was transcribed into excel and analysed using Epiinfo7.2.

Results: Out of 112 households visited, 80.3% was in the B40 group. Of all, 96 (85.7%) individuals chose Government healthcare with no significant difference between the B40 and others (p=0.3). Currently 52.6% have children utilizing child health services and 47.1% utilizing the maternal health services. Most (70.5%), irrespective of education level do not go for general checkup. Those that do, have an underlying medical condition. Payments for hospitalization and medications were done by 38.4% and 30.3% respectively. Most frequent investigation was X-ray, ECG, and ultrasonography. Dental checkup accounted for 50.7% of type of service utilized. Overall, 63.4% of respondents were satisfied with the level of healthcare in the country.

Conclusions: This community opts for Government health care and is generally satisfied with the level of care provided.


Health utilization, Health service, Private

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