Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 616

Full Length Research Paper

Patient waiting time in a tertiary health institution in northern Nigeria

Umar I., Oche M. O.* and Umar A. S.
Department of Community Health, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 27 January 2011
  •  Published: 28 February 2011


The amount of time a patient waits to be seen, is one factor which affects the utilization of health care services. Patient satisfaction has emerged as an increasingly important parameter in the assessment of quality of health care; hence, healthcare facility performance can be best assessed by measuring the level of patient’s satisfaction. This was a cross-sectional descriptive study carried out at the out patients’ departments of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. A total of 384 new patients were randomly selected into the study. A set of pretested questionnaires was used to extract information from the respondents, descriptive statistics was used for analysis. A total of 118 (31%) of the patients waited for less than an hour in the waiting room, while 371 (96.6%) spent less than 30 min with the doctor. More than half, 211 (55%) of the respondents were satisfied with the service delivery in the hospital, while only 63 (16%) of the respondents admitted to being given health talks while waiting to be seen by the doctor. Although majority of the patients waited for more than 1 h before being attended to, more than half of them were however satisfied with the services rendered to them. There is the need for health care institutions and providers to put in place measures aimed at reducing waiting time and ensuring patient satisfaction.


Key words: Waiting time, outpatient department, satisfaction, Sokoto.