Client satisfaction is an important method to assess the pattern of utilization of health care services amongst all sectors indirectly reflecting on the quality of services. Most of the clients prefer private over government services due to multiple reasons. The aim of this study was to assess the level of satisfaction of patients attending rural government and private health facilities in rural Andhra Pradesh. Ten villages were randomly selected from the field practice area of a teaching medical institution, and all patients who visited any facility during the past three months were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire focusing on access to care, competence of the providers, quality and cost of the services and overall satisfaction with the services. Data was analysed using Microsoft Access software. One hundred and eight clients who visited different facilities for common ailments, chronic diseases, maternal and child health services were interviewed. The average time to reach the facility was 52.23 ± 44.52 min. The average waiting time was 34.25 ± 42.47 min. More than 80% were satisfied with the clinic hours, cleanliness and comfort of the facility, and privacy maintained during examinations. 40% were satisfied with the cost of services. The client satisfaction with different health care providers in rural areas of Andhra Pradesh is high. Clients expect the quality of services to be better; nevertheless they continue to use the available services without complaining much.
Key words: Client satisfaction, quality, health care services, private, government, cost.
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