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Original Article

Rural – Urban Differences in Health Care Quality Assessment

Nada Spasojevic, Ivan Vasilj, Boris Hrabac, Damir Celik.

Aim: To determine the rural–urban differences in primary care practice, hospital inpatient care and total services. Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from Zenica-Doboj Canton in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH). The overall sample size for the study was 1,995. Individual interviews were conducted in one randomly selected day of the week, except Monday and Friday, on the basis of EUROPEP (European Task Force on Patient Evaluations of General Practice Care) standardized questionnaire. Results: Out of total number (n=1 995), 47.9% was urban population and median of age was 42 years for both populations. The most of urban residents (81.4%) had finished high school or higher education compared with rural residents (58.5%) (p < 0.001). There are significant differences in employment status between rural and urban population (p < 0.001). Rural residents are more likely to travel more than 15 minutes to see their health facilities compared with urban residents (61.7% vs. 24.4%, respectively). Median of distance (kilometers) from residence location to the nearest hospital was statistically significantly higher in rural Me = 8.0 (5.0 do 14.5) km compared to urban population Me = 1.5 (1.0 to 3.0) km (p < 0.001). The rural population was more likely to buy drugs for medical treatment (p < 0.001) and parenteral injections in primary care practice (p < 0.001). Conclusion: There are significant differences in the overall health care assessment of rural populations as compared to urban populations.

Key words: health care system, rural-urban population.

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