Factors that influence consumer choice of sources of formal health care
MetadataShow full item record
This was a descriptive study aimed at investigating the unknown factors influencing consumer choice of sources of formal health care in rural Mpigi District. The study compared clients attending government, private and private-not-for profit facilities. Its main objective was to identify factors influencing consumer decisions to seek health care from a particular health facility. Specific objectives were; to describe client behaviour in utilization of services from formal health facilities, to analyse patients’ perceptions of health care quality, to assess other factors determining consumer choice of sources of health care and to draw implications for policy and planning of health care services. The study utilized both quantitative and qualitative inquiry methods. Primarily, the study population consisted of clients attending services at these categories of health facilities. A sample size of 179 clients was drawn using Krejcie & Morgan formulae of determining sample sizes. A sample of 5 key informants was drawn including the (1) DHO and (4) heads from the four selected health centres. Service utilization was largely determined by gender and age group in each category while annual client visit was largely dominated by private facilities. There was a large improvement in service delivery in public facilities due to CSO interventions which promoted service utilization. Health information was found paramount in promoting health services utilization and referrals. Client service satisfaction was dominated by the PNFP facilities. Untimely services caused inconsistencies in seeking health care while long distances led to alternative seeking of unprofessional health services. Generally, privacy and confidentiality were embraced in the three categories of facilities. The facilities had differing strengths and it’s upon policy makers and health facility managers to draw lessons from well performing facilities to design means of harmonizing them. Therefore, a collective and participatory monitoring policy for formal health care is important. More so, an increased concentration on monitoring private facilities, strengthening of grass root formal health care structures, community health support to vulnerable age groups, provision and extension of youth friendly health services, improving adequacy and welfare for health workers, timely and adequate logistical supplies, enabling variety and quality of health services and offer of ambulance services are important in promoting equity and equality of services in the three categories of these facilities.