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Association between social health insurance and choice of hospitals among internal migrants in China: a national cross-sectional study

10 Feb 2018


There is a tendency to pursue higher-level hospitalisation services in China, especially for internal migrants. This study aims to investigate the choices of hospitalisation services among internal migrants, and evaluate the association between social health insurance and hospitalisation choices.


Data were from a 2014 nationally representative cross-sectional sample of internal migrants aged 15–59 years in China. Descriptive analyses were used to perform the distribution of healthcare facility levels for hospitalisation services, and multinomial logistic regression was applied to examine the association between social health insurance and hospitalisation choices.


Of the 6121 inpatient care users, only 11.50% chose the primary healthcare facilities for hospitalisation services, 44.91% chose the secondary hospitals and 43.59% preferred the tertiary hospitals. The choices presented large regional variations across the country. Compared with the uninsured, social health insurance had no statistically significant effect on patient choices of healthcare facility levels among internal migrants in China, whereas socioeconomic status was positively associated with the choices.


Social health insurance had little influence on the hospital choice among the internal migrants. Thus, social health insurance should be consolidated and portable to enhance the proper incentive of health insurance on healthcare seeking behaviours.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open

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