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Year : 1998  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 23-30

Factors influencing patients' utilization of primary health care providers in Saudi Arabia

Master's Program in Hospital & Health Administration, College of Administrative Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Badran A Al-Omar
Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Master's Program in Hospital & Health Administration, College of Administrative Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 61435, Riyadh 11565
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23008586

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Objective: To determine the factors that significantly discriminate between Ministry of Health (MOH) and private primary health care patients in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia. Methodology: Through a self-administered questionnaire, data were collected from 408 randomly selected patients in five MOH primary health care centers and five private dispensaries. Data collection was conducted from February 15 to March 15, 1998. Two-group stepwise discriminant analysis was utilized in analyzing the data. Results: Seven of the 33 factors were found to be statistically significant in discriminating between MOH and private patients. These factors were: (1) source of payment, (2) availability of other sources of income, (3) distance between residence and Primary Health Care (PHC) provider, (4) education, (5) preference for similar-gender doctors, (6) preference for Saudi doctors, and (7) perceived quality of medical staff. Conclusion: The study notes that PHC providers cannot control the sociodemographic characteristics of patients. Therefore, policy makers should focus on ensuring that PHC facilities have enough male and female doctors. Furthermore, the quality of the medical staff of these facilities should be upgraded to improve the overall quality of the services they provide. The conduct of further studies related to the utilization of health care providers is also recommended.

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