Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Utilization of Health Services at a Private Health Center In Bangladesh: A Case Study

Rachel Utomo

Name: Rachel Putri Utomo
School: College of Dental Medicine, Class of 2024
Mentor: Sylvana Q. Sinha, Esq. and Kim Hekimian, PhD


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In Bangladesh, lack of awareness of the threat of SARSCoV-2, health misinformation, inadequate health facilities, and general distrust towards the government have exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic nationally and heightened fear and anxiety amongst the public. Consequently, people’s healthcare seeking behaviors have also been affected. This preliminary analysis investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the healthcare seeking behaviors of patients with diagnosed chronic illnesses (PwDCI) at Praava Health, a private health center in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The annual utilization of services and net amount of Bangladeshi Taka spent by PwDCIs were obtained from billing data, and analysis showed that (1) PwDCIs purchased more one-time Health Check Packages for screenings and (2) bought higher tiered Annual Membership Plans at Praava Health after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. These behaviors are likely a response by PwDCIs to mitigate their anxiety related to their risk for COVID-19 due to their underlying chronic conditions. Though limited in scope, this preliminary analysis illustrates the change in healthcare seeking behaviors of PwDCIs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and, in turn, may provide guidance on which services these patients may be underutilizing so that appropriate resources may be reallocated to ensure and extend the life expectancies of PwDCIs.