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Objectives: This paper is one of the first studies that identifies factors that inhibit access to healthcare services and healthcare-seeking behaviour (HCSB) in rural India during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: The data source was the household sample survey of the World Bank on ‘COVID-19-Related Shocks in Rural India 2020, Rounds 1-3’. Binomial and multinomial regression analysis was carried out to estimate the determinants of health care avoidance and HCSB.
Results: Families belonging to low consumption quartiles not only delayed obtaining health care but also underutilized formal health resources at public and private facilities. The majority of non-agricultural households, as well as those that reduced their consumption during the outbreak, were forced to self-medicate through pharmacies. Family planning, immunization, child growth monitoring, and routine medical check-ups were among the services that were not availed during the pandemic.
Conclusion: The findings of this study emphasize the need of removing financial obstacles to care during the COVID-19, as well as the importance of child-related care continuity (child development monitoring, antenatal care, and immunization) and routine check-ups.
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