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An Evaluation of Primary Healthcare Centers (PHC) Services: The Views of Users

Tariq Ali M Alzaied, Abdurrahman Alshammari

This study evaluates the current status of multiple primary health care centers in Riyadh city from different perspectives (access and effectiveness). It explores the patients' perception about utilizations and how they perceive it. Also, it investigates factors contributing to not-fully utilizing the PHCs by patients. It addresses some challenges (problems/barriers/obstacles) that prevent PHCs from utilizing resources.

This study investigates the status of utilizations in different PHCs in Riyadh city and compares the results to international approaches in this field. The researcher will survey users from different PHCs in Riyadh city about their perception of utilizations.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the current services of PHCs in Riyadh city from the perspective of patients, and to shed light on obstacles that may hinder or motivate patients to use health services.

The study has been conducted in multiple primary health care centers in Riyadh. The population of this study are people from Riyadh city who have visited a primary health care center using simple stratified sampling a convenient sample. A questionnaire, created by the researcher and distributed electronically, was used to collect information from participants.

The results show that the PHC is in good order in Riyadh city; effective and accessible. The challenge is in achieving the best use of it. The fact that most patients would not choose PHC as their first choice should be investigated further. There is no evidence in this research showing the effect of imposing the referral system through PHC. Results show that staff of the PHC center has a potential effect on the users' decision. Training and continuous development may improve the staff performance. Moreover, communication between users and practitioners may be enhanced by increasing the outcomes from health schools and attracting Saudi staff via incentives, continuous training, and scholarship. Frequent awareness programs may also help draw people's attention to the importance of PHC. It would be useful to get input from patients about factors preventing them from visiting PHC and to eliminating these factors.