2 - International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health-Qatar Proceedings
  • ISSN: 1999-7086
  • EISSN: 1999-7094


Utilization of primary health care services is an important determinant of health. Individuals who receive primary health care are generally healthier than those who do not. Despite the importance of primary health care use, there are many barriers to health care access that are experienced by populations in Arab countries. This study examined primary health-care use and accessibility among adolescents living in the United Arab Emirates.

In a cross-sectional study, we collected primary health-care use, sociodemographic and residential data for 6363 local and expatriate adolescents. Analysis consisted of descriptive statistics, and bivariate and multivariate analyses. Logistic regression modelling was employed to examine predictors of health-care use, specifically ‘not receiving care when needed’, ‘having a routine physical check-up without having a specific problem’, and ‘travelling for medication or treatment to other countries’.

The most-consulted health professionals were dentists or orthodontists, family doctors and eye specialists. Local adolescents were more likely to attend public clinics or hospitals than private clinics or hospitals, while the opposite was true for expatriate adolescents. In the last 12 months 22.6% of participants had not obtained needed health care, and 19.5% had not had a routine physical health check-up. Common reasons for not obtaining care were busy schedules, dislike/fear of doctors and long waiting times. Predictors of not obtaining needed care included nationality and income, while those for having a routine check-up were mother's education and car ownership.

Improvements to the health-care sector are needed in order to increase health-care accessibility among adolescents.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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