In order to lessen health inequalities, the obstacles to health equity will need to be identified. This study aimed at investigating the barriers to access to health-care services from the medical ethics point of view. Data were collected through a qualitative study by performing semi-structured interviews. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants involved in health provision and/or management. Content analysis was done using MAXQDA software. Overall, 30 interviews were conducted. The content analysis of the interviews identified two themes including “micro factors” and “macro factors”, five sub-themes including “cultural, financial, geographical, social and religious barriers”, and 44 codes. Based on our findings, differences in individuals’ perceptions, cultural control, religious beliefs and social stigmas create cultural barriers. Financial barriers consist of the financial connection between service recipients and service providers, insurance premiums, and inadequate coverage of health-care services. The most important geographical barriers identified in our study were differences in urbanization, inequality in various geographical areas, marginalization, and inequality in resource distribution. Finally, differences in the level of income, education and occupational diversity were among the social barriers. Given the wide range of barriers to access to health-care services, a comprehensive plan covering various dimensions of health equity should be implemented. To this end, innovative and progressive strategies emphasizing the principles of equity and social equality should be developed.


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