LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2007 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 235-236
Reasons for choosing a government hospital for treatment
Department of Community Medicine, Navodaya Medical College, Raichur, Karnataka, India
|Date of Submission||21-Mar-2007|
|Date of Acceptance||10-Aug-2007|
J U Yadav
Department of Community Medicine, Navodaya Medical College, Raichur, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Yadav J U. Reasons for choosing a government hospital for treatment. Indian J Community Med 2007;32:235-6
Preservation of human life is the main objective of medical profession. In spite of differences in methods of treatment depending on the type of system of medicine used, the prime objective remains the same - care of the sick. This is probably the only reason which has given medicine the unique status of being a noble profession since centuries. ,
A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Government Medical College Hospital, Miraj (G.M.C.H.). The study population comprised of consumers (patients) of G.M.C.H., Miraj. The sample size was 400 consumers, from all departments of the hospital.
Some patients gave multiple reasons for choosing a government hospital.
The study shows representation of all age groups, a higher proportion of males (72%), low literacy status (77.25%), a surprisingly high proportion of people belonging to upper middle class (44%), comparatively low proportion of Hindus (23.75%) and a sizeable proportion of urban dwellers (60.25%). The consumer status with respect to his/ her status was as follows: new (52%), old (48%), outpatient (56%), inpatient (44%), routine (81.5%), emergency (18.5%).
Sixty percent of the consumers reported that they had learnt from others about the good reputation of services provided by the hospital. Economic reasons, i.e., unable to afford treatment from private sector, were cited by 44% consumers. Twenty-four percent consumers claimed that they had tried private medical establishments but were dissatisfied with them for various reasons and therefore had turned to the government hospital. In case of 12% consumers, they were referred by primary health centers/ rural hospitals/ private general practitioners for further management.
It is generally believed that medical establishments run by government or public sector would be the the choice - last choice - of only those who for various reasons, chiefly economic, had really no other choice. This traditional reputation of government hospitals is expected to slowly change, as conscious efforts to improve these services qualitatively and quantitatively are being undertaken by the government. Rising costs of private medical sector is also an important contributory factor. 
In the area of Miraj and surrounding locations, there is a sizeable population of Muslims and Christians; and a high proportion of these belong to lower social classes, which usually use government medical services. Surprisingly, a high proportion of consumers belonging to the upper middle social class (44%) turning up for using government medical services, in this study, probably indicates that owing to inflation and rising costs of commodities, some people from the upper middle class can no more afford the costs incurred in the private medical sector and have to therefore seek medical services of a government hospital.
| References|| |
|1.||Nagpal N. Compendium of CPA medical judgments. 1 st ed. 1996. p. 4-6. |
|2.||Nanandkar SD, et al . Consumer Protection Act and Medical profession: The relationship dilemma. Heritage GMC: Nanded; 1993. p. 51-5. |
|3.||Yadav JU, et al . A study of some aspects of implications and impact of Consumer Protection Act on services provided in Government General Hospital. Shivaji University: M.D. Thesis; May 2002. p. 8-27. |