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Predictors of Patients’ Satisfaction with Health Care Services in Three Balkan Countries (Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia): a Cross Country Survey

Vladimir Lazarevik, Blasko Kasapinov.


Background: Patients’ satisfaction with provided healthcare services is one of the factors to measure the overall quality of the delivered health care. Main objective of our study was to determine the common predictors associated with patients ‘satisfaction in three Balkan countries. Methods: We conducted web based survey among population in Macedonia, Serbia and Bulgaria using paid campaign over the social network Facebook. A questionnaire consisted of 31 questions was developed following studies on patients’ satisfaction conducted elsewhere. Descriptive analysis was performed to assess the predictors associated with patients’ satisfaction. In addition we performed content analysis to all open-ended responses. Results and discussion: In total 4118 respondents participated in the survey. Main predictors associated with low users satisfaction with the health care services in three surveyed countries are waiting time to appointments, huge administrative procedures, and attitudes of the medical personnel towards the patients. The analysis showed that there are many similarities in user experiences in three countries, but also there are some differences. Conclusions: The health care systems in these three counties are organized around centralized and monopolistic position of one health insurance fund that serves as main purchaser of health care services. Top three indicators of patients’ satisfaction across three countries are trust and overall satisfaction with the attention of the doctors, as well as satisfaction with the outcome of the treatment. Long waiting time and huge administrative procedures are determined as common predictor for lower patients’ satisfaction across these Balkan countries. Patients’ privacy protection is issue for concern in all three countries.

Key words: Patients satisfaction, predictors, waiting time, administration, privacy protection,

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