The perceived quality of service in public clinics of Scottsville and Sobantu in the Pietermaritzburg area
Gumede, Peggy Pinky
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The challenges facing the South African public health systems, especially public clinics seem to be increasing. These Primary Health Centres are having to deliver service under difficult circumstances thereby making the “offering” of the service being perceived as poor. The way in which these centres operate is mainly hampered by infrastucture and resource allocation which is seen as sufficient to render appropriate service to the “black communities”. To the eyes of an outsider, this particular service is seen as ideal, yet the people for whom it is meant, do not fully benefit from it. Prior to 1994, South Africans were faced with poor health facilities; with the democratic elections, they thought the delivery of essential services was going to change for the better. In the White Paper for Transformation of the Health System in South Africa, one of the objectives states that various implementation strategies were to be designed to meet the basic needs of all people, given the limited resources available, but this does not seem to be the case. Research has shown a huge discrepancy in the delivery of service between rural and urban areas. Some of the findings are that one nurse will attend to a huge number of patients without any assistance, either from the doctor or other nurses. The literature review contained in this research indicates that there is still a gap between how the service delivery should be made available to the public and how it is currently administered or managed. This research, which is driven by a passion and love for good public service delivery assesses the perceived quality of service in the public clinics of Sobantu and Scottsville. Interviews were conducted within employees of both the clinics and the patients being served by these two clinics to assess the perceived quality of service received in these clinics