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Barriers to surgical care in Nepal

van Loenhout, Joris A. F.; Delbiso, Tefera D.; Gupta, Shailvi; Amatya, Kapendra; Kushner, Adam L.; Gil Cuesta, Julita; Guha-Sapir, Debarati

Background:
Various barriers exist that preclude individuals from undergoing surgical care in low-income countries. Our study assessed the main barriers in Nepal, and identified individuals most at risk for not receiving required surgical care.


Methods:
A countrywide survey, using the Surgeons OverSeas Assessment of Surgical Need (SOSAS) survey tool, was carried out in 2014, surveying 2,695 individuals with a response rate of 97%. Our study used data from a subset, namely individuals who required surgical care in the last twelve months. Data were collected on individual characteristics, transport characteristics, and reasons why individuals did not undergo surgical care.


Results:
Of the 2,695 individuals surveyed, 207 individuals needed surgical care at least once in the previous 12 months. The main reasons for not undergoing surgery were affordability (n = 42), accessibility (n = 42) and fear/no trust (n = 34). A factor significantly associated with affordability was having a low education (OR = 5.77 of having no education vs. having secondary education). Living in a rural area (OR = 2.59) and a long travel time to a secondary and tertiary health facility (OR = 1.17 and 1.09, respectively) were some of the factors significantly associated with accessibility. Being a woman was significantly associated with fear/no trust (OR = 3.54).


Conclusions:
More than half of the individuals who needed surgical care did not undergo surgery due to affordability, accessibility, or fear/no trust. Providing subsidised transport, introducing mobile surgical clinics or organising awareness raising campaigns are measures that could be implemented to overcome these barriers to surgical care.

Geographic Areas

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Also Published In

Title
BMC Health Services Research
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-017-2024-7

More About This Work

Academic Units
Surgery
Published Here
November 11, 2017

Notes

Keywords: Surgical care, Nepal, Barriers, Affordability, Accessibility, Fear, No trust