With the rapid economic development across China over recent decades, examining how urbanization may affect healthcare service use and its implications is more than urgent. This study estimates the association between urbanization and primary healthcare services use in China. We construct a prefecture-level dataset on healthcare services utilization and urbanization. We regress the proportion of residents using healthcare services in primary healthcare centers versus secondary or tertiary hospitals on a set of prefecture-level control variables. Results suggest that use of primary healthcare centers outpatient service is positively associated with being in the proximity of a provincial capital, but negatively correlated with the percentage of the urban population and the availability of public transportation. Higher likelihood of seeking care in major hospitals instead of primary healthcare centers is associated with urbanization, justifying a need for primary care physicians as gatekeepers in China's healthcare delivery system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)