Article Abstract

The profile of patients receiving public and private surgical services in Greece during the economic crisis: a comparative study

Authors: Dimitrios Schizas, Adamantios Michalinos, Prodromos Kanavidis, Georgios Karaolanis, Irene Lidoriki, Athanasios D. Sioulas, Dimitrios Moris

Abstract

Background: International experience has shown that deterioration of healthcare services is a common consequence of socio-economic crises. Exact mechanism of this deterioration varies with respect to particularities of each healthcare system, government and administrative policies and local epidemiological conditions. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of Greek economic crisis on the profile and the satisfaction rates of patients seeking surgical services in public and private hospitals.
Methods: A questionnaire-based survey concerning healthcare quality and patients’ satisfaction was conducted at a private and a public (university) hospital. Patient demographics alongside with patient satisfaction before and after treatment were quantified and compared.
Results: Significant differences between private and public sector patients were found concerning nationality, socio-economic status and medical conditions. Private sector patients are younger, of a higher socio-economic status and admitted for elective rather than urgent medical conditions. Patient expectations before treatment are lower for public sector concerning a variety of markers but patient satisfaction is similar.
Conclusions: Even in the years of financial crisis, Greek patients seem to be satisfied by the quality of the healthcare services in both public and private hospitals. Despite the limitations of our study regarding the selection of the population, we believe that the findings might generate more meticulous research on the field hoping that juxtaposed discussions will sensitize policy makers.