Gender Disparities in Care-Seeking and Severity of Sickness for Children at a Tertiary Pediatric Hospital in Northern Vietnam
Emily Treleaven, University of California, San Francisco
Nadia Diamond-Smith, University of California, San Francisco
Le Ngoc Duy, National Hospital of Pediatrics, Vietnam
Pham Ngoc Toan, National Hospital of Pediatrics, Vietnam
Colin Partridge, University of California, San Francisco
Vietnam has a history of son preference. Past research in other countries with son preference in Asia has found that often parents are more likely to take sons to a health facility when they are sick, and to do so more promptly. Little research has looked at gender differences in child health care seeking in this setting. Using data for a national referral pediatric emergency care facility, we explore gender differences in children brought to the emergency room, in the severity of their illness, and in their referral patterns. We find that almost twice as many boys were brought into the facility as girls, that the girls that were brought in had more acute illnesses and were more likely to be have been referred for higher-level care. This suggests that parents do provide preferential treatment to boys, potentially leading to worse outcomes for girls who do become ill.