The level of satisfaction of Russians with medical care has increased in recent years
A picture: Yulia PYKHALOVA
How satisfied are you with free medical care under the MHI policy in your district clinic and hospitals? What problems do you most often face? Is this year better or worse? Such questions were asked of residents of different regions of the country during a study organized by the All-Russian Union of Patients together with the Center “Social Mechanics”. The results were told at the XIII All-Russian Congress of Patients by the deputy director of the center Tatiana Fomina.
– If we compare 2021 and 2022, patient satisfaction with medical care has generally increased. The so-called satisfaction index can vary from -1 to +1. Last year it was -0.1. This year, the index has moved from the negative side of the scale to the positive side. And amounted to +0.1%. We can say that the number of citizens who are satisfied and dissatisfied with medical care under compulsory health insurance is about 50 to 50, explains Fomina. – Of course, this is a positive trend.
If we translate the index into percentages, it appears that this year about 15% more citizens said they were satisfied with free home medication. People are satisfied if they receive medical care that meets their expectations, according to the expert. If the hopes are in any case not justified in any way, the respondents put a check mark in the “not satisfied” column. That is, it should be taken into account that the evaluative, subjective attitude of the patient plays an important role.
What most often pleased Russians when contacting district clinics and hospitals in 2022? The top three reasons for dissatisfaction are as follows:
– the attitude of doctors and nurses. Half of the survey participants complained about the “improper behavior of healthcare workers”;
– waiting too long for an appointment or examinations;
– lack of necessary medical specialists or “limited access to them”.
Sociologists also separately checked the opinion of Russians about clinics and hospitals. And here an impressive fact was revealed: only 2% of respondents are completely satisfied with medical care in district clinics. Such lucky ones said that they did not encounter any problem. The other 98% indicate that something went wrong with them. Someone couldn’t reach the reception. By the way, descriptions of cases appear in telegram channels from time to time when patients in the outback call their district number tens and even hundreds of times. Someone could not quickly get to the necessary doctor or call the doctor at home. Plus the most popular complaint about the ‘improper behavior of healthcare workers’.
As far as hospitals are concerned, the main problem for patients was “additional financial costs”. In some cases, this can be an abuse, when patients have to pay extra for what should be free by law. On the other hand, some drugs, procedures, or services are not included in state-guarantee programs for free medical care. So the demand for payment for them is legal, which does not remove the dissatisfaction of patients.
How patients think about digitization
Electronic medical records, prescriptions, online doctor’s appointments – these are all the fruits of the digitization of healthcare. 80% of the survey participants confirmed that they understand the benefits of such technologies, said Tatyana Fomina. First of all, patients are pleased that thanks to electronic document management, doctors of various medical institutions can receive information about the medical history, the dynamics of the patient’s condition. You don’t have to stay at home with a stack of papers about all the research and analysis of recent years.
At the same time, people say they fear data loss (what if the power goes out?) and unauthorized access to personal health data.
ON A NOTE
Who can you turn to if you are dissatisfied with free medical care?
1. Chief physician of the outpatient clinic/hospital.
He is responsible for the quality of his subordinates’ work and can impose sanctions on them if violations of patients’ rights are confirmed.
2. The medical insurance organization that issued you the CHI policy.
Specialists of such organizations advise patients on various issues, including what is free in a particular region (in some cases there are specifics). Also, insurance representatives take action if the patient cannot get to the necessary specialist doctor, the timing of examinations is delayed, medical care is poorly provided, etc. Experts advise having the call center number of your medical insurance organization in your smartphone notebook so that you can if need to get in touch quickly for help.
3. Hotlines of regional health authorities. There are such in all ministries, departments and health commissions of the Russian regions.