Does Maternal Health Voucher Scheme Have an Impact on Out-of-Pocket Expenditure and Utilization of Delivery Care Services in Rural Bangladesh?
Forhana Noor, Population Council
Ubaidur Rob, Population Council
In rural Bangladesh, due to barriers to access to receiving facility based delivery services, the Government of Bangladesh piloted a demand-side financing scheme at health facilities in the rural area. This paper examined the impact of this intervention on utilization of services as well as out-of-pocket expenses incurred by women for availing delivery care services. A quasi-experimental research design was conducted for evaluating the impact of demand-side financing vouchers on maternal health care services. Findings reveal that there was a significant (p<0.0001) increase in the utilization of delivery care at public facility in the intervention areas compared to the control areas and average out-of-pocket cost or money required for a normal or caesarean delivery was decreased over thirty percent over the time period. Demand-side financing had a positive effect on both utilization and cost. To sustain this achievement, this program needs to continue to provide financial assistance.