The study has been conducted in January-February 2003. And the second study in March-May 2007. The questionnaires were given to every 10th patient over 18 years old, who registered for the first time during the episode. Questionnaires were distributed among 500 patients, 343 questionnaires were returned to the study team (response rate 68,6 percent).
Study participants were asked their opinion about the institution where their primary care physician should work. 50 percents of employers and 86,9 percents of housewives preferred that family physician’s office should be situated near their living place. 50 percents of unemployed respondents as well as 47 percents of employees wished that their family physicians, narrow specialists and laboratories should be working in one building. 72 percent of respondents who earn 1001-1500 Litas (Lt) per month for one family member thought that it is more comfortable when their doctors work in their neighbourhood. Respondents with monthly income 1501-2000 Lt and more per for one family member (61,1 percent and 45,7 percent accordingly) had different opinion: they preferred that all primary and secondary care physicians and laboratories were situated in one building.
Only 14,6 percent of retired study participants have not heard about possibility to be treated in day-hospitals in outpatient clinics. Students and schoolchildren were those who were mostly not informed about this possibility (73,9 percent). But most of the students and schoolchildren were positive that in case they need hospital treatment, preference would be given to day-hospital clinics (74,3 percent). Majority of housewives (71,3 percent), and businessmen (55,2 percent) would also prefer day-hospital clinics. Choice of retired and unemployed respondents were distributed almost equally: 53,8 percent of retired persons and 33,3 percent of unemployed would choose day-hospital clinics; 46,2 percent of retired and 52,2 percent of unemployed would prefer treatment in hospital. No statistically significant dependence was found between income for one family member and preferred choice of treatment. Respondents who earn more than 2000 Lt for one family member noted that in case they need hospital treatment, they would certainly choose day-hospital clinics (100 percent).
Two thirds of study participants (67,9 percent) had negative opinion concerning offered innovation – that family doctor replaced earlier primary care physicians team consisting of district therapeutist, paediatrician, gynaecologist and surgeon. Most of those who had negative opinion were retired persons (81,7 percent), businessman (72,4 percent), technical employees, workers (71 percent) and housewives (69,8 percent).
86,0 percent of respondents reported that first physician they usually contacted was their family doctor. Most of them were retired parsons, students and schoolchildren, workers/technical employees and housewives (92,5 percent, 91,3 percent, 91 percent and 89,3 percent accordingly). Businessman (34,5 percent) preferred to contact the physician that they knew personally, superlatives and managers (14,3 percent) mostly referred to private physicians.
53,9 percent of respondents positively evaluated functioning of health care institutions. 88,2 percent of respondents with income 1501-2000 Lt per month for one family member evaluated it well or very well, the same opinion had 74 percent of respondents earning income 1001-1500 Lt per month. 63,3 percent of respondents with average income up to 500 Lt per month work of health care institutions assessed as satisfactory. Respondents who earn more than 2000 Lt per month per family member assessed functioning of health care institutions as follows: 20 percent – very good, 31,4 percent – good, 37,1 percent – satisfactory and 11,4 percent – bad.
Keyword(s): primary health care, outpatient care, quality of health care, health care services accessibility, population socioeconomic groups.
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