Satisfaction with healthcare services in South Africa: results of the national 2010 General Household Survey

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Introduction: The 1998 and 2003 Demographic and Health Surveys suggested increasing rates of dissatisfaction with health services in South Africa. The goal of this analysis was to examine national healthcare satisfaction rates in 2010.

Methods: We conducted weighted logistic regression analysis of data from 22,959 household representatives who participated in the nationally-representative 2010 General Household Survey (GHS).

Results: In total, 88.5% of participants were somewhat or very satisfied with their last visit to their usual healthcare provider, including 84.6% of those visiting a public provider and 97.3% of those consulting a private provider. Satisfaction rates were lower for black South Africans (87.0%) and low income households (86.3% of households with monthly incomes less than 2500 rands) than for white South Africans (96.0%) and high income households (94.0% of those with monthly incomes of at least 8000 rands) (p<0.001). However, after adjusting for provider type, there were few differences in satisfaction rates by race/ethnicity and income level.

Conclusion: The analysis suggests that differences in satisfaction with healthcare services in South Africa by racial/ethnic group and income level are due in large part to different rates of use of private providers.