Different dental care setting: does income matter? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • In this paper we consider the use of mobile dental clinics as a means of improving access to dental care among primary school children in Southern Thailand by reducing the opportunity cost of service use to parents. Parents' willingness to pay (WTP) is measured for three different services provided in a community hospital dental clinic and a school-based mobile clinic. Although the service setting does not affect significantly the WTP for treatment directly, the estimated positive association between WTP and income is modified by setting. The results indicate that the potential for mobile clinics to increase utilization of services among primary school children is associated with parents' income, with the difference in valuation of dental services between the two settings being less among lower income parents than higher income parents. However, even among lower income parents our results indicate that the potential for increasing service utilization among children depends on the improvements in access associated with the mobile clinic not being achieved at the opportunity cost of lower levels of effectiveness.

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publication date

  • January 2008