Author(s): Mansour AA, alOsimy M
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Abstract Saudi Arabia is a developing country with a tremendous potential for growth and development. In an attempt to endorse Primary Health Care (PHC) concepts, it abolished all its former dispensaries and maternal and child health centers, and amalgamated their services into health centers that deliver PHC services. This expansion in centers development created a need for evaluation to assess the extent at which the new objectives are being achieved. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the resources available in three large health centers in Saudi Arabia, and determine consumers' satisfaction with the services provided. The study was conducted in the City of Riyadh. Three centers were chosen purposefully and the consumers of the respective centers were interviewed as to their satisfaction with the services provided. The results show that there was a discrepancy between the findings obtained from the centers' resources evaluation and those derived from the satisfaction portion. It is recommended that the Saudi Ministry of Health would upgrade its centers' resources, and that more studies would be conducted in the other centers of the country. PIP: This article presents the findings from an evaluation of three of the largest maternal-child health centers dispensing primary health care (PHC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The evaluation included an assessment of the availability and quality of equipment and facilities at each center and the number and qualifications of staff. Consumer satisfaction with services was determined from interviews. Responses were scored on a 4-point Likert scale. Findings indicate that resources were inadequate at each center. Staff was complete for physicians, nurses, and clerks only. Centers did not meet requirements from the Ministry of Health for technicians, pharmacists, health workers, social workers, and health inspectors. The condition of the equipment was adequate in all centers, but some specific treatment areas were deficient. For example, the emergency rooms in centers 1 and 3 were underequipped. Facilities were inadequate in centers 2 and 3. None of the centers had public phones. Two centers did not have an area for praying. There were statistically significant differences between center facilities. Consumers were generally satisfied, despite the deficiencies in manpower, equipment, and facilities. Consumer satisfaction was highest for the humaneness of treatment. Effectiveness of care was also given a high satisfaction score. The lowest satisfaction scores were given to thoroughness, continuity, and informativeness. Findings may reflect Saudi reluctance to complain about services or the acceptance of lower standards of care. It is concluded that care was dispensed by many who were not fluent in Arabic and trained in PHC. Other centers should be evaluated and improvements should be made in manpower, facilities, and equipment. Process evaluations should be initiated in order to explain the contradictions between client satisfaction and center resource inadequacy.
This article was published in Int J Nurs Stud
and referenced in Family Medicine & Medical Science Research