Factors Associated With Access, Utilization, and Level of Satisfaction With Primary Health Care Services in Hafar Al-batain City of Saudi Arabia

  •  Sabah T Alharbi    
  •  Muneeb M Alzghool    


BACKGROUND: Primary Health Care (PHC) Services in Saudi Arabia has reportedly been poorly accessed and utilized. Another concern is that the kingdom has to be strategic in reducing inequalities that exist between rural and urban communities. At present, there were limited scientific studies on access, utilization, and satisfaction of PHC services in areas most central to the kingdom.

AIM: The aim of this study is to explore the factors associated with access, utilization, and level of satisfaction with primary health care services in Hafar Al-batain of Saudi Arabia.

METHOD: A survey was conducted on June to August 2018 and data were gathered from June to August 2018. A self-report questionnaire was used which asked for the participants’ characteristics, organization factors, financial factors, doctor-patient communication, access, utilization, satisfaction to PHC services and barriers were distributed to the different health centers. A total of 384 PHC receivers served as respondents of the study. Data analysis were processed and Chi-square was used to analyse quantitative data using Statistical Package for Social Sciences Ver. 21. Thematic analysis was used in analysing qualitative data.  

RESULTS: Findings showed that 50% of the total respondents were satisfied to some extent with the PHC services. On the other hand, only 39.7% were completely satisfied. Organizational, financial and doctor-patient communication factors were found to be barriers to PHC services in terms of access and utilization. Gender, age and educational level were found to influence perceived satisfaction towards PHC services. Themes relevant to barriers to PHC services were relevant to inadequate facilities and services, inaccessible location and access of health services, lack of specialized health care workers and services, poor observance of therapies and management, and insufficient implementation of policy and protocols.

CONCLUSION: Health care services in Hafar Al-batin were found satisfying to some extent but were found to have areas which needs improvement which are relevant to factors in the organizational, finance, doctor patient communication and health promotion and prevention.

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