Purpose – This paper aims to measure the perception of patients towards quality of services in public health care centres in rural India. Design/methodology/approach – A 23‐item scale that tested well for reliability and construct validity was employed for the study. Mixed sampling technique was employed to select the sample. A total of 500 respondents from Eastern, Western and Central regions of Uttar Pradesh were surveyed. Findings – The survey instrument had an overall Cronbach's alpha value of 0.96 and was able to discern differences across various socio‐demographic characteristics of the respondents. The opinions of the respondents towards health care quality were not very favourable. Negative scores were obtained on items, “availability of adequate medical equipments” and “availability of doctors for women”. Education, gender and income were found to be significantly associated with user perception. Research limitations/implications – The current study was limited to measuring the perceived quality of health care services in public centres only. Moreover, as the study was confined to the state of Uttar Pradesh so caution has to be exercised in making generalisations for the entire nation. Practical implications – Valuable insights into the quality of services at public health care centres in rural India have been provided by the study. Originality/value – Knowledge about the patients' perception towards health care quality is one of the most important steps towards introducing reforms in the health care sector. Identification of areas that require immediate improvement in public health care centres provides valuable guidance to the policy makers who can devise suitable strategies to make these centres more sensitive and responsible to the needs of the rural population. This can lead to restoration of faith in public health care centres and subsequently their increased consumption.
Clinical Governance: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 25, 2011
Keywords: Medical care; Quality; Primary care
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