Original Research

Factors influencing access to pharmaceutical services in underserviced areas of the West Rand District, Gauteng Province, South Africa

Ditonkana A. Sello, Jan H.P. Serfontein, Martie S. Lubbe, Yoswa M. Dambisya
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 17, No 1 | a609 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v17i1.609 | © 2012 Ditonkana A. Sello, Jan H.P. Serfontein, Martie S. Lubbe, Yoswa M. Dambisya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 June 2011 | Published: 20 July 2012

About the author(s)

Ditonkana A. Sello, Department of Pharmacy, University of Limpopo, (Turfloop campus), South Africa
Jan H.P. Serfontein, School of Pharmacy, North-West University, (Potchefstroom campus), South Africa
Martie S. Lubbe, School of Pharmacy, North-West University, (Potchefstroom campus), South Africa
Yoswa M. Dambisya, Department of Pharmacy, University of Limpopo, (Turfloop campus), South Africa


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Abstract

The study examined demographic and socio-economic factors that may influence pharmaceutical services (PS) in underserviced communities of the West Rand District, Gauteng Province, South Africa. A quantitative survey was conducted using structured questionnaires administered to the general public (n = 2014) in Bekkersdal, Kagiso, Mohlakeng, Munsville and Diepsloot townships. The questionnaire explored demographic details, employment and education status, income levels, payment methods and convenience of services. Of the respondents, 54.0% were women, 52.0% were unemployed; 65.0% had secondary education or higher and > 70.0% had no income or earned < R1000 p.m. Unemployment was higher amongst women. Only 13.9% of respondents had medical aid membership, which influenced their choice of health provider, with the exception of pharmacy services which are not affected by medical aid membership. Medical aid members were, however, more able to pay. Employment status and education also influenced the choice of provider, with most of the employed (66.0%) and educated (64.4%) preferring a pharmacy or GP. On pharmacist gender, 47.5% of respondents had no preference, 27.6% preferred male pharmacists, whilst 24.9% preferred female pharmacists. Men with preferences preferred male providers (77.0%), whilst female respondents preferred female providers (69.3%). Respondents with no formal education and those with low or no income expressed higher gender preferences rates than those with formal education or higher income, respectively. Thus, access to PS was influenced by gender, age, family income and education level. Whilst medical aid membership had no influence on access to PS, it influenced ability to pay. These factors should be considered by those wishing to offer PS in such areas.

Opsomming

Toegang tot farmaseutiesedienste (FD) bly ‘n uitdaging in minderbevoorregte gebiede. Die huidige studie het demografiese- en sosio-ekonomiese faktore ondersoek, wat FD kan beϊnvloed in onder-bediende gemeenskappe van die Wes-Rand Distrik, Gauteng Provinsie, Suid-Afrika. Om te bepaal watter faktore toegang tot FD in vyf dorpsgebiede aan die Wes-Rand beïnvloed. Kwantitatiewe opnames met behulp van gestruktureerde vraelyste wat aan die algemene publiek (n = 2014) in Bekkersdal, Kagiso, Mohlakeng, Munsville, en Diepsloot dorpsgebiede uitgedeel is. Die vraelys het areas insluitende demografiese besonderhede, indiensneming- en opvoedingstatus, inkomstevlakke, metodes van betaling, en die gerief van die apteekdienste ondersoek. Daar was 2014 respondente (54.0% vroulik); 52.0% was werkloos; 65.0% het sekondêre of hoër onderwysopleiding; en > 70.0% het geen inkomste of verdien < R1000 p.m. Werkloosheid was hoër onder vroue, ongeag van vlak van opvoeding. Slegs 13.9% van die respondente het mediese fonds-lidmaatskap. Mediese fonds-lidmaatskap beïnvloed die keuse van gesondheidsverskaffer, maar toegang tot die apteekdienste is nie geraak deur mediese fonds-lidmaatskap nie. Mediese fondslede was egter meer in staat om te betaal. Die keuse van ‘n verskaffer is deur indiensneming- en opvoedingstaus beïnvloed, met die meeste van die respondente wat werksaam was (66.0%) en die meer opgevoedes (64.4%), wat ‘n apteker of ‘n algemene praktisyn verkies het. Ten opsigte van die apteker se geslag het 47.5% van die respondente geen voorkeur gehad nie, 27.6% het manlike aptekers verkies, terwyl 24.9% vroulike aptekers verkies het. Mans met voorkeure het manlike verskaffers verkies (77.0%), en vroulike respondente het vroulike verskaffers verkies (69.3%). Respondente met geen formele opleiding, en diegene met ‘n lae of geen inkomste het hoër geslagsvoorkeur resultate getoon. Toegang tot FD is beïnvloed deur geslag, ouderdom, gesinsinkomste en vlak van opvoeding. Mediese fonds-lidmaatskap daarenteen het geen beduidende invloed op die toegang tot FD gehad nie, maar wel op die vermoë om te betaal. Hierdie faktore moet in ag geneem word deur diegene wat belangstel om FD in soortgelyke gebiede te verskaf.


Keywords

cost of health care; medical aid membership; pharmaceutical care; service provider choices; underserviced areas

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