Quotation Shaikh, Mujaheed, Miraldo, Marisa, Renner, Anna-Theresa. 2018. Waiting time at health facilities and social class: Evidence from the Indian caste system. PLoS ONE. 13 (10)




Waiting time for non-emergency medical care in developing countries is rarely of immediate concern to policy makers that prioritize provision of basic health services. However, waiting time as a measure of health system responsiveness is important because longer waiting times worsen health outcomes and affect utilization of services. Studies that assess socio-economic inequalities in waiting time provide evidence from developed countries such as England and the United States; evidence from developing countries is lacking. In this paper, we assess the relationship between social class i.e. caste of an individual and waiting time at health facilities-a client orientation dimension of responsiveness. We use household level data from two rounds of the Indian Human Development Survey with a sample size of 27,251 households in each wave (2005 and 2012) and find that lower social class is associated with higher waiting time. This relationship is significant for individuals that visited a male provider but not so for those that visited a female provider. Further, caste is positively related to higher waiting time only if visiting a private facility; for individuals visiting a government facility the relationship between waiting time and caste is not significant. In general, caste related inequality in waiting time has worsened over time. The results are robust to different specifications and the inclusion of several confounders.


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Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal PLoS ONE
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title Waiting time at health facilities and social class: Evidence from the Indian caste system.
Volume 13
Number 10
Year 2018
Reviewed? Y
URL https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0205641
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205641
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0205


Shaikh, Mujaheed (Former researcher)
Renner, Anna-Theresa (Details)
Miraldo, Marisa (Imperial College London, United Kingdom)
Health Economics and Policy Group AB (Details)
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