NEWS

Healthier score for hospitals

One in two patients who have sought medical assistance at a hospital said that they were satisfied with the services offered, according to survey results presented yesterday that show a better-than-expected review of the public health system. The research, commissioned by the National School for Public Health and based on data gathered from 4,028 households, found that 51.4 percent of those questioned said that they were satisfied with their experience at both private and public hospitals. Ten percent of respondents were referring to treatment at a private hospital. Primary healthcare, such as medical centers, got the best marks, as 62 percent said that the services met their expectations well to very well. Just under 10 percent gave the sector a poor grade, describing it as being bad to very bad. Marks handed to medical professionals regarding the respect given by staff to patients came in lower, as just a quarter of respondents said that it always met their expectations. Meanwhile, only 29 percent replied that doctors always explained adequately issues relating to their hospital care. In a bid to try to improve the health system, the government has said that it will introduce drastic changes in healthcare, viewed to be one of the most corrupt state sectors. The conservative government has announced the appointment of 4,000 more doctors and the creation of urban health centers in an effort to prevent overcrowded hospitals from clogging up with patients. National School for Public Health professor Yiannis Kiriopoulos said that the findings show that the condition of the health system is considered to be average to satisfactory and that patients’ impressions have improved since the last survey in 2000. Improved building facilities and the introduction of biomedical technology are seen as being the factors behind the improvement. Structural changes are needed in regard to healthcare for patients suffering from chronic ailments as well as improved attitudes from health professionals, according to Kiriopoulos.