Utilization of skilled birth attendants in public and private sectors in Vietnam

Mai Do
Journal of Biosocial Science 2009, 41 (3): 289-308
The private sector in health care in Vietnam has been increasingly competing with the government in primary health care services. However, little is known about the use of skilled birth attendance or about choice of public and private sectors among those who opt for skilled attendants. Using data from the Vietnam 2002 Demographic and Health Survey, this study examines factors related to women's decision-making of whether to have a skilled birth attendant at a recent childbirth, and if they did, whether it was a public or private sector provider. The study indicates that the use of the private sector for delivery services was significant. Women's household wealth, education, antenatal care and community's wealth were positively related to skilled birth attendance, while ethnicity and order of childbirth were negatively related. Order of childbirth was positively associated with skilled birth attendance in the private sector. Among service environment factors, increased access to public sector health centres was associated with an increased likelihood of skilled birth attendance in general, but a lowered chance of that in the private sector. Further studies are needed to assess the current situation in the private sector, the demand for delivery services in the private sector, and its readiness to provide quality services.

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