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Open Access Research article

Health insurance and healthcare utilisation for Shenzhen residents: a tale of registrants and migrants?

Kelvin KF Lam and Janice M Johnston*

Author affiliations

Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, 5/F, William MW Mong Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong, China

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2012, 12:868  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-868

Published: 12 October 2012

Abstract

Background

Shenzhen’s rapid growth and urbanisation has attracted a large, mobile, migrant working population. This article explores health protection through the means of social health insurance between migrants and registrants and their point of access to healthcare.

Methods

A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted in Shenzhen, with a random sample of 793 registered and 750 non-registered residents. Chi-square test and multivariate logistic regression were applied to analyse the association between health insurance coverage with Hukou registration status and healthcare utilisation.

Results

Amongst 1543 respondents, 43.1% of non-registered residents were uninsured. Being non-registered strongly predicted for no insurance (OR = 5.00; CI 3.53,7.07) and have purchased additional/ private insurance (OR = 2.99; CI 1.66,5.37). Migrants who self-reported chronic health conditions were also more likely to utilise health services in general (OR = 2.77; CI 1.18,6.52).

Conclusions

Inadequate health insurance coverage for migrants as observed in Shenzhen remains a challenge for the Chinese health reform. Our results suggest that the current insurance system must seek to include migrants in order to achieve universal coverage and improved health protection for its population.

Keywords:
Health insurance coverage; Healthcare utilisation and migrant