Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
SILVA, Lígia Maria V. da et al. District allocation and utilization of health care services in Pau da Lima, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1995, vol.11, n.1, pp. 72-84. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1995000100014.
This cross-sectional study is aimed at the identication of patterns in the utilization of health care services in Pau da Lima, a neighborhood in the city of Salvador, Bahia. In 1992, a household survey was carried out with 384 families selected through a random cluster sampling design. In each household, the family head or a surrogate informant was asked to answer a questionnaire about their use of any type of health care in the last month. From the total of 1,887 individuals, 236 reported at least one visit to health facilities during the referent period This means an estimated prevalence of health services utilization of 12.5%. With regard to the type of services, 25.9% of all visits were made to public sector facilities. Attendants were mainly women (73.7%) from 15 to 29 years of age. The main reason reported for the choice of the health facility was availability (63.7%), and the major reason for seeking health care was disease-related conditions (75.7%), rather than preventive procedures. These findings may result from the still unfinished process of distritalização(district allocation of services), which is evident in the lack of health services' infrastructure or coverage, as well as in persistent organizational problems. These issues may lead the population living in the respective district to seek health care outside the assigned catchment area. The authors discuss these findings in the context of the expansion of the private sector in the health area and the financial collapse of the public budget in Brazil.
Keywords : Health Services; Decentralization; Private Health Services; Public Health.