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Revista Cubana de Higiene y Epidemiología

On-line version ISSN 1561-3003


GARCIA ROCHE, René G; RODRIGUEZ SALVA, Armando; DE VOS, Pol  and  VAN DER STUYFT, Patrick. Gender inequities and the use of primary health care services at three polyclinics in Cuba. Rev Cubana Hig Epidemiol [online]. 2013, vol.51, n.3, pp.289-297. ISSN 1561-3003.

Introduction: the categories of sex and gender make it possible to analyze their social inequalities, their influence upon health, and the inequities stemming from them. For several years now, the family medicine model has been applied in primary care in Cuba, with the purpose of achieving equity in health services. The model has been evaluated periodically. However, little is known about specific equity features in the use of services according to gender. This is the reason why the present study was undertaken. Objective: identify gender inequities in the use of primary health care services. Methods: a descriptive study was conducted of the use of consultations offered to persons aged 20-59 living in areas covered by consultation offices from the polyclinics "Felipe I. Rodríguez", "Marcio Manduley" and "Enrique Barnet". An estimation was made of absolute numbers, percentages and annual rates per inhabitant / person / year by sex, for the total sample and at each polyclinic. Results: females showed higher rates than males in all the aspects analyzed, with figures of approximately 2.65 and 1.05 respectively for consultations; 0.90 and 0.40 for field visits; 0.88 and 0.39 for scheduled consultations; 1.42 and 0.58 for prevention activities and 3.40 and 1.38 for medical prescriptions. However, in several services females had a lower or equal percentage of allotment or use, even though their need to use those services was greater. Final considerations: imbalance in the forms of use and the allotment of services between the sexes resulted in gender inequities. The female sex was at a disadvantage due to these inequities.

Keywords : inequities; gender; use of health services; primary health care level.

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