Dynamic Health Care Decisions and Child Health in South Africa
AbstractA large number of child deaths in developing countries could be averted if ill children received care sooner rather than later or not at all. This article analyses the health care treatment pathway that is followed for children under the age of six. The majority of these children receive treatment within 24 hours. We find, however, that income affects the probability of any treatment, despite freely available public health care, and that delayed treatment of severely ill children is more likely to occur in more expensive private facilities. Our results suggest that free public health care is not enough to mitigate health inequality amongst young children and that delayed health care could lead to adverse household expenditure shocks.