Attitudes and experiences towards state provided health services in the case of Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal.
Goba, Thabisile Peaceworth.
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This study investigated the attitudes and lived experiences of the community of Inanda towards state provided health services. The study included an investigation of how the attitudes and lived experiences impact on the individuals’ inclination towards the utilization of public health services. A mixed method approach was adopted for this research to enable an in-depth exploration of the attitudes and lived experiences of the community of Inanda towards state provided health services. A survey, conducted through an electronically administered questionnaire, which focused on individuals’ attitudes towards their experiences when accessing health services, was sent to 50 participants from Inanda. Furthermore, 10 in-depth interviews which were conducted telephonically provided elaborate details of individuals’ experiences at the health facilities, and how those experiences shape their attitudes towards health services. Data collected in the survey were analyzed using the google forms built in analyzing tool, as well as the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The results were presented in the form of graphs and narratives. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. The interview recordings were transcribed and then coded for the identification of themes and codes. The study found out that participants had easy access to public health facilities, most of them being able to walk to the facility. It was established that the public health system is faced with a multitude of challenges which impact on the individuals’ attitudes towards them. These include a lack of resources, a lack of poor work ethics among the staff at the facility which includes verbal abuse and humiliation of patients and others. It can be concluded that health services available at public health facilities are substandard and result in negative attitudes among patients. It is recommended that government strives to improve communication at its facilities which will improve patient knowledge. It is also recommended that the government put in place consequence management to address issues of unethical conduct from staff member. The study serves to provide evidence of the challenges encountered by individuals whilst utilizing the public health services. It contributes towards the formulation of policies which aim to improve the efficiency of services in this sector and, ensuring the provision of streamlined services.