Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Exploring access to vasectomy services: a case study of funding in Counties Manukau

Sara K. Filoche 1 , Simon Snook 2 , Beverley A. Lawton 1
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1 Women’s Health Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Otago-Wellington, New Zealand

2 Wairarapa District Health Board, Masterton, New Zealand

Correspondence to: Sara K. Filoche, Women’s Health Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Otago-Wellington, Wellington 6242, New Zealand. Email: sara.filoche@otago.ac.nz

Journal of Primary Health Care 9(1) 85-89 https://doi.org/10.1071/HC16033
Published: 29 March 2017

Journal Compilation © Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners 2017.
This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Although vasectomy rates in New Zealand have been reported as among the highest worldwide, there is limited information about who is receiving these services and how they are being accessed. This information is needed to develop equitable access to vasectomy services.

AIM: To describe the ethnicity and socioeconomic status of men accessing District Health Board-funded and self-funded vasectomies in Counties Manukau.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis of provider data linked to ethnicity and area deprivation as an indicator of socioeconomic status.

RESULTS: Of 332 vasectomies, 66% were for New Zealand European men. Socioeconomic status was not associated with the number of procedures for New Zealand European men, but of the Māori and Pacific men who underwent vasectomies, most lived in the greatest areas of deprivation; 58% (18/31) and 50% (12/24), respectively. When vasectomies were funded, the number of procedures doubled for men from areas of high deprivation. The number of procedures was low for men of other ethnicities.

DISCUSSION: Our findings indicate differential access to vasectomies by ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Funding vasectomies may provide community benefits in terms of improving equity in access and alleviating a financial burden for many families living in areas of high deprivation.

KEYWORDS: Vasectomy; deprivation; ethnicity; access; funding


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