Willingness to pay for cataract surgery in Kathmandu valley
- 1Tilganga Eye Centre, Kathmandu, Nepal
- 2Tribhuvan University, Institute of Medicine, Maharajgunj Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal
- Correspondence to: Mohan Krishna Shrestha BPH, Post box number-561, Tilganga Eye Centre, Kathmandu, Nepal;
- Accepted 18 August 2003
Aim: A cross sectional study was carried out on 78 screened cataract patients of two screening camps in Kathmandu valley, Nepal, to assess the willingness to pay for cataract surgery.
Methods: A non-probability sampling technique with open ended and close ended questionnaires was used.
Results: The average age of patients was 68.8 years. The ratio of men and women was 0.9:1. 42.3% (33) of patients were willing to pay for cataract surgery. Among them 48.5% (16) of people were willing to pay less than $13 and 51.5% (17) were willing to pay more than $13. The mean was $2.3 (SD $15.5) per case. Patients with bilateral cataract were more willing to pay than unilateral cases. Poverty (44.4%, 20) was the main barrier for unwillingness to pay for cataract surgery. Other reasons were the lack of family support (28.9%, 13), lack of knowledge of surgery and belief that it was an unnecessary procedure (15.6%, seven), and waiting for a free surgical service (11.1%, five).
Conclusion: This study clearly indicates that although there was awareness of the availability of treatment and services provided within the reach, people are not willing to pay for the surgery and use the facility primarily because of poverty. Hence, to change patients’ attitudes, a more holistic approach is needed, keeping in view the cultural, social, and economic background of the society.
The authors have no commercial interest in the products or equipment mentioned herein.
Series editors: W V Good, S Ruit