Does the perceived healthcare quality provided by full-time government employee doctors in the public system differ from the perceived care quality in their own privately managed facilities in Nigeria?

Bartholomew S. Eze, Mari Jones


Objective: Although the differences in the quality levels between the public and private sectors have been identified in literature not much is known about the level of quality differences that exist when full time government employee doctors offer the same clinical services in their own privately managed facilities. The objective of this study was to compare service user perceived quality of care provided by full-time government employee doctors in the public system and in their own privately managed facilities in Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional multistage sampling design was used to elicit service user views on process, structure and outcome elements of quality identified in the Donabedian’s care quality model. The software for population surveys in EPI Info 7 was used to calculate the required sample. A total of 407 questionnaires were administered and completed after a pre-test.
Results: Respondents reported better health outcomes in private practice than in the public system and a majority would recommend visiting a dual physician’s private practice than the public system where they work full-time. Process aspects of quality, including better rapport with doctors, greater perceived confidentiality, shorter wait times, and absence of bureaucratic impediments were said to be better in privately managed facilities of government doctors. However, respondents said that the public sector was superior in respect of the structure element of quality as reflected in better infrastructure, equipment, and availability of drugs.
Conclusions: Despite the relatively lower cost of care in government hospitals the outcome and process elements are still crucial in determining which sector patients prefer. These two elements seem to have influenced patronage for private practices of dual practitioners.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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