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Original Article

IJMDC. 2023; 7(12): 1959-1965

Factors associated with patients bypassing primary healthcare centers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Fahad Hisham Bin Shalhoub, Majed Ghanem Alharbi, Shahad Hameed Alshammari, Raghad Abdulmajid Bin Rakhis, Asayel Mohammed Bin Saif, Fahad Abdullah Alateeq.


This study aimed to investigate the reasons for bypassing primary healthcare centers in Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia.
This study used a descriptive, questionnaire-based, and cross-sectional design with a non-probability convenience sampling. The data collection tool was a self-administered questionnaire, which included questions on sociodemographic data, satisfaction with services, knowledge of services, and reasons for bypassing primary healthcare centers.
The study included 588 participants, of which 264 (44.9%) were males, and 64.1% were aged between 18 and 24 years. Majority of the participants visited a PHC center at least once (94.9%), but also experienced a failed treatment (42.8%) or a lack of medications or diagnostic services in PHC (61.1%). The most common reason for bypassing PHC was the unavailability of diagnostic measures (38%), followed by the need for more experienced staff (33%). The study also found significant associations between gender, employment status, age and the reasons for bypassing PHC.
Although there is considerable reported utilization of PHC center services, there was a high rate of bypassing PHC facilities for various reasons. The main factors influencing bypassing behavior were the availability of diagnostic measures, drugs, and experienced staff. Therefore, improving the quality and accessibility of PHC services is essential to reduce the bypassing rate and enhance the utilization of PHC in the study area.

Key words: PHC, bypassing, health care utilization, accessibility, Saudi Arabia

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