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Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


MESQUITA, M; PAVLICICH, V  and  BENITEZ, S. Perception of quality of care and accessibility of public pediatric facilities in the city of Asuncion and Greater Metropolitan Area. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2008, vol.35, n.1, pp.11-17. ISSN 1683-9803.

Introduction: It is becoming more common to analyze service in public pediatric facilities from the point of view of the children’s parents. Objective: To determine the quality of care and accessibility of public pediatric facilities as perceived by patient families. Materials and Methods: The study is descriptive and observational with an analytic component. A pre-prepared questionnaire was used and filled out during an interview with parents or guardians of pediatric patients as they left the facilities of 5 hospitals in Asuncion or its metropolitan area. Results:We interviewed 208 parents or guardians. Some 58.7% of the children were brought in due to illness, and 41% for well-child check ups. Service was described as good by 88.9% of those interviewed, while 9.1% said it was fair, and 1.9% called it poor. Reasons for describing service as good were: courteous attention 45.2%, good medical care 26.4%, and having received clear explanations 11%. Smaller percentages mentioned having received useful information or timely attention. Of those who described the attention as fair, 63% reported receiving attention that was hurried and superficial. Of those who described it as poor, 50% did so because their children were not examined. Some 53.8% of patients arrived at the hospital by using a single bus, 23.6% used 2 buses, and 18% arrived by walking. Smaller percentages reported using 3 buses or a private vehicle. The average cost for the visit was 9851±5645 PYG (USD $2.48 ± $1.42). Some 90% reported always having been able to get an appointment, but 58.2% said the wait was very long. There was no difference in perception according to educational level of the parents (primary education only vs. secondary education) p=0.15. A strong relationship was found between having received courteous attention (p=0.001), the facilities of the waiting room (p=0.012), a general examination of the child (p=0.03), and having a play area for the children (p=0.01). Conclusions:These results suggest that the parents or guardians considered courteous, personalized and compassionate attention, along with a good examination of the child and clear explanations of the child’s condition, as a preponderate factor in the quality of care. Medical care is generally accessible in Asuncion and the greater metropolitan area given that the possibility exists of fees for appointments being waived in most of these hospitals.

Keywords : perceived quality of pediatric care; accessibility of pediatric care.

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