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Humanities and Social Sciences Letters

December 2020, Volume 8, 4, pp 481-492

Utilization of Health Care Services among Migrant Workers in Malaysia

Md. Sayed Uddin


Rulia Akhtar


Muhammad Mehedi Masud


Qazi Muhammad Adnan Hye

Md. Sayed Uddin 1
Rulia Akhtar 2

Muhammad Mehedi Masud 3
Qazi Muhammad Adnan Hye 4

  1. Sociology and Social Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Sabah, Malaysia. 1

  2. Ungku Aziz Centre for Development Studies, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2

  3. Department of Development Studies, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 3

  4. Adjunct Faculty, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Karachi City, Pakistan. 4

Pages: 481-492

DOI: 10.18488/journal.73.2020.84.481.492

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Article History:

Received: 06 August, 2020
Revised: 08 September, 2020
Accepted: 26 October, 2020
Published: 19 November, 2020


The underutilization of formal health services is a common scenario among migrants that leads to the development of serious medical conditions. This study aims to examine the influence of socio-demographic factors on the use of health services among Bangladeshi migrant workers in Malaysia. It employed Andersen’s ‘population characteristics framework’ behavioral model, which is based on a quantitative method. A questionnaire was developed to collect relevant information through face-to-face interviews from respondents involved in the construction, manufacturing, and service sectors. The results revealed that the majority of Bangladeshi workers were not consistent in visiting doctors, hospitals, or clinics when they experienced illness in the past year. The theoretical implication of Andersen’s behavioral model comprising predisposing and need factors was found to be significantly and positively associated with the use of health services. The findings indicated that predisposing factors including marital status and education, and need factors, including self-rated health status, sickness, and chronic illness in the previous year, had the greatest impact on healthcare utilization. However, there was no significant relationship between respondents’ ages and their utilization of healthcare services during their stay in Malaysia. Finally, the study suggests that adequate measures should be taken to provide pre-departure training related to the existing healthcare system in Malaysia, including health insurance cover and extension of services to future migrant workers.
Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes to the existing literature on the utilization of healthcare services among Bangladeshi migrant workers in Malaysia. This study reveals that marital status and educational level have greater influence and a positive impact on the use of services at various healthcare providers in Malaysia.


Socio-demographic factors, Health behavioural model, Health care utilisation, Migrant workers, Malaysia.


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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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