The article hinged upon exploring the patterns and determinants of healthcare utilization and financing amongst particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG's) in Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu. Three PVTG’s viz Paniyas (P), Kattunayakans (KN) and Bettakurumbas (BK) are explored in the study. These groups have some quint essential features impacting the healthcare seeking behaviour e.g. Paniyas were subject to historical repression after they were brought over from Kerala as agricultural labourers culminating into their seclusion and accentuated patient provider wedge. Kattunayackans have their behaviour embedded in using magico-religious beliefs and indigenous medicines. Bettakurumbas are the other forest dwellers residing in Nilgiris biosphere reserve and contemporaneously seek institutional care. Mixed method approach (amalgamation of quantitative and qualitative) was adopted and the households were selected through two stage stratified random sampling. The health seeking behaviour was captured by running a Logit model and Blinder Oaxaca decomposition analysis was conducted to decompose the health gap amongst the tribal groups.
Key words: Health seeking behaviour, barriers to care, out of pocket expenses, vulnerable population, tribal group.
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