Original Research

Community perception of quality of (primary) health care services in a rural area of Limpopo Province, South Africa: a qualitative study

T-AB Mashego, K Peltzer
Curationis | Vol 28, No 2 | a941 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v28i2.941 | © 2005 T-AB Mashego, K Peltzer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2005 | Published: 28 September 2005

About the author(s)

T-AB Mashego, University of Limpopo, South Africa
K Peltzer, Human sciences research council and University of Limpopo, South Africa

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The aim of the study was to survey perceptions of quality of (primary) health care services provided in rural communities in the Limpopo province. Ten focus groups discussions were held with community members chosen by convenience from public places from four villages in the central region of the Limpopo Province. The sample included 42 women and 34 men (76 participants). Results indicated perceived quality discussed within the following categories: (1) conduct of staff (reception, communication, discrimination, care and compassion, respect for privacy), (2) technical care (examination, explanation of treatment, responsiveness, treatment outcomes), (3) health care facility, (4) health care organisation, (5) drugs (availability, explanation, effectiveness, payment), and (6) waiting time. The findings suggest some satisfaction with free basic and preventive health care and social services provided but there is a need to look closely into the interpersonal dimension of the services provided, provision of medication with adequate explanation to patients on the medication given, and on structural aspects, there is need for the government to give support to the clinics to provide adequate services. Improving drug availability, interpersonal skills (including attitudes towards patients) and technical care have been identified as the three main priorities for enhancing perceived quality of primary health care and health policy action.


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