Purpose – This paper seeks to investigate how patients perceive service quality in Egypt's public and private hospitals. The paper also tests the SERVQUAL dimensions in hospitals within an Arab, non‐Western context. Design/methodology/approach – The author used a cross‐sectional questionnaire survey, performed in 2005. A sample of 332 patients from 12 hospitals in Egypt participated in the study. Findings – The results highlighted a three‐factor solution for the SERVQUAL instrument with 67 per cent of variance explained. This result does not support the five‐components original SERVQUAL. A discriminant function was estimated for patients who selected public hospitals and those who selected private hospitals. The model was found to be significant in explaining patients' choice of the type of hospital. Research limitations/implications – The use of quantitative methods alone is valuable in establishing relationships between variables, but is considered weak when attempting to identify the reasons for those relationships. Patients may have a complex set of important beliefs that cannot be captured in the questionnaire. Therefore, using qualitative research along quantitative methods in future studies may enhance the findings of this study. Originality/value – This article will be of interest to both public and private hospitals wishing to determine what patients expect from the quality of service provided to them.
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2005
Keywords: Health and medicine; SERVQUAL; Customer satisfaction; Egypt
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