Patients' Perception of Health Care Delivery System in a Tertiary and Secondary Health Institutions in Edo State, Nigeria

By Vincent-Osaghae, Gloria N. | Ife Psychologia, September 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

Patients' Perception of Health Care Delivery System in a Tertiary and Secondary Health Institutions in Edo State, Nigeria


Vincent-Osaghae, Gloria N., Ife Psychologia


Health seeking behaviour is a complex issue. Studies have shown that what determines choice of care are dependent on factors such as distance to health units, cost of getting treatment and the quality of services provided. Despite these barriers to seeking health care, illness - related factors such as the degree of severity or the nature of disease and how it disrupts the performance of social functions play a contributing role alongside socio economic status of people (Rosenthal, G.E. Shannon, S.E.1997; McPake and Mills, 2000; Bannesman, Offei, Acquah, & Tweboa, 2002, and Anderson, Camacho, & Balkrishnna, R. 2007).

Quality of service delivery is one of the most important contributors to the use of health care, it is not surprising therefore that no agreement exists as to how to measure or define quality of service. There is no one universally acceptable method of defining and measuring quality of service delivery in hospitals. Existing literature have shown that quality of service delivery is multi-dimensional in nature. In defining and measuring quality service delivery, most researchers have used structure - process outcome parameters from the perspective of patients, service providers and management of health institutions (Doylar, & Haran 2000; Aldane, Piechhulek, & Al-Sabir 2001).

Assessment of quality service delivery studies usually measure just one of the three types of outcomes: Medical outcomes, Patients satisfaction of cost of treatment and patient satisfaction of service delivery. With the passing of time, researchers have realized that measuring just one aspect of patients' satisfaction is not adequate as an indicator to bring about improvement in quality of service delivery (Sixmal, Spreeurenberg, & Vandar Pasch, 1998; Bleich, Ozatin, & Murray, 2009 and Peltzer, 2009).

Patients' satisfaction refers to the extent to which the patients perceive that their needs and expectations are met by those who provide health services. This involves that the best health outcomes are given, and available resources are consistent with patients' values and preferences. Patients' satisfaction evaluation measures health gains and what really happens to patients who come to the hospital unlike clinical measure that measures the rate of infection and cure rate achieved (Campbell, Roland, & Buetew, 2005 and Fawole, Okunola, & Adekunle, 2008).

In the evaluation of quality care delivery, variation exists between developed and developing countries in terms of facilities, service delivery, patients/staff relationship and waiting time for treatment. Despite the difference that may exist in the evaluation of quality service delivery, patients all over the world are increasingly concerned about their health and are demanding for improved service delivery (Mendoza, Piechulek, & Al-Sabir 2001). The assessment of quality of service delivery in public hospitals had traditionally been based on cure. Some aspects of care such as interpersonal dynamics which involve: Patients' satisfaction, patients /staff relationship, quality service delivery and waiting time for treatment are often ignored. Quality service delivery has been a recent issue in Nigerian public hospitals (Woodward, 2000; Uzochukwu, Onwuekwe, & Akpala, 2004 and Birhanu, Assete, Woldie, & Morankar, 2010).

As government health policies continue to gear towards better health for the teeming population in Nigeria, there is no doubt that more people will utilize public health services. As more people become aware of health matters, it becomes imperative that there would be demand for better quality services by them. If satisfaction with structures, processes and outcomes of care are important elements of quality service delivery in the health sector, then the manner in which services are rendered should be viewed from the lens of patients' perception of service delivery (Balthusen, Haddad, & Sanerbiar, 2002; Guy, 2002 and Airede, 2003). …

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