Perceptions of private specialist outreach services at a rural district hospital, South Africa

South African Family Practice

Field Value
Title Perceptions of private specialist outreach services at a rural district hospital, South Africa
Creator Poulter, Hayden L. Jenkins, Louis S. Kapp, Paul A.
Subject Family medicine; general practice; rural health; rural medicine; primary care; primary health care; outreach and support; specialist care ivate specialists; outreach; rural; district hospital; perceptions
Description Background: A major disparity exists in access to specialised healthcare between rural and urban areas. Specialist outreach programmes are one of the ways in which rural specialist healthcare inequality is being addressed. A number of rural district hospitals (RDH) employ local, private specialists (LPS) to supplement public specialist outreach. Limited research exists on private specialist outreach and support (PSOS) in sub-Saharan Africa or South Africa.Methods: This was a descriptive, exploratory, qualitative study using thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews. Non-probability, purposive sampling was used to obtain a sample size of 16 participants. The audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed with the framework method and ATLAS.ti version 8© software.Results: Four major themes emerged, namely roles of LPS, effects, sustainability and feasibility of PSOS. Overall PSOS was considered sustainable, feasible and had positive effects in and beyond the sub-districts. The value of PSOS was supported by improved access and timeliness of services, improved competency of RDH medical practitioners, improved coordination, comprehensiveness and continuity of care. Private specialist outreach and support was, however, associated with increased burden on the RDH resources and required a basic level of RDH infrastructure to function effectively.Conclusion: The perceived contribution of private specialist outreach services was positive overall. Implementation in RDHs is feasible, but should involve consideration of factors in the hospital, town, sub-district and district prior to implementation.Contribution: This paper provides evidence that private specialist outreach and support services are feasible in the state health sector, provided that certain considerations are taken into account.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor n/a
Date 2023-01-23
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — qualitative research
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/safp.v65i1.5641
Source South African Family Practice; Vol 65, No 1 (2023): Part 1; 11 pages 2078-6204 2078-6190
Language eng
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Coverage Africa; South Africa; Western Cape; Garden Route Feb-March 2021 16 participants
Rights Copyright (c) 2023 Hayden L. Poulter, Louis S. Jenkins, Paul A. Kapp