Clients’ perception of service quality of care in health facilities in Kibaha district, Tanzania
Introduction: Clients perception of service quality is important for utilization of health services. Clients with positive perception are more likely to comply with treatment and to continue to use health care services. Assessing clients’ perception of services offered is crucial for improving delivery and organization of the services.
Objective: To compare clients’ perception of quality of care in government and non-government health facilities in Kibaha district, Tanzania.
Method: Across sectional study was conducted using a modified service quality framework (SERVIQUAL) questionnaire that contained five domains including tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. Expectations and perceptions of service quality were collected for all domains. Data are presented as mean gap scores by subtracting perception mean scores from the expectations mean scores.
Results: The overall clients’ mean gap score was higher (-0.46) in the government health facilities than the nongovernment health facilities (-0.18). The clients in both government and non-government health facilities had higher expectations of quality of service in all five domains than their perceptions except for the assurance and empathy domains in the non-government health facilities which were equal. The government health facilities had higher negative mean gap score for all domains except for tangible domain which had higher negative mean gap score (- 0.53) in the non-government health facilities.
Conclusion: The clients’ expectations of service quality in the district health facilities were not met. This was higher in the Government than the non-government health facilities. It is recommended that health facilities in Kibaha district improve structural quality of care, timeliness of health services and communication skills.
Key Words: Perception and expectations of quality of care, Health facilities, Tanzania