Should We Judge PHCs by Only IPHS Guidelines or Probe Further?
Background: Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) evaluates supply side compliance of Primary Health Centers (PHCs). Patient Satisfaction (PS) on the other hand, assesses the demand side. Objective: Examining the supply side compliance and relating it to PS in the domain of Reproductive Health (RH). Methods: Using multistage stratified sampling, six rural and three urban PHCs in sub-districts, Ramanagara and Channapatna, in District Ramanagara, state of Karnataka, India, were chosen. Information collected using IPHS proforma for PHCs was compared with PS questionnaire (PSQ 18) data, collected from 398 patients visiting these facilities. Results: Using descriptive and inferential analysis, sub-optimal compliance levels in ease of access, physical & human infrastructure, patient data and usage of untied funds was found. Existing behavioral compliance was found to be optimal. These findings were in alignment with PS findings. Conclusion: Results call for PHC capacity building, incentivization and a crucial need to look into PS side, before passing judgement about performance standard.
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