This project studied out-of-pocket costs for rural BC patients seeking health care outside their home community.
We wanted to:
To do this, we:
From our focus groups and investigations in to other research projects, we found that themes highlighted out-of-pocket costs of:
From our survey, we found that:
These findings underscore just how significant traveling for health care is for rural residents, both financially as well as psychologically and emotionally. Low-wage, elderly and other marginalized rural residents are particularly impacted by the costs of traveling, with few supports available to them.
Overall, this study closes the knowledge gap about out-of-pocket costs for rural residents accessing health services in BC.
Kornelsen, J., Khowaja, A.R., Av-Gay, G. et al. The rural tax: comprehensive out-of-pocket costs associated with patient travel in British Columbia. BMC Health Serv Res 21, 854 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06833-2