Out-patients most dissatisfied with long waits and bills

Cai Wenjun
Patients are generally satisfied with health services at local hospitals, yet many complained of long waits to see doctors. Authorities have promised reforms to improve treatment.
Cai Wenjun

Long waiting times, expensive bills and unclean toilets are the top three problems that out-patients at local hospitals complain about, while high medical costs and poor food annoyed hospitalized patients the most, according to a survey released on Friday.

The Shanghai Medical Ethos Association teamed up with Fudan University to carry out the survey, which interviewed 23,391 patients and their families in 96 hospitals.

The majority of interviewed patients said they are satisfied with health services overall in local hospitals. Out-patients were most satisfied with the timely arrival of doctors, and hospitalized patients were most pleased by daily rounds from doctors.

Yet, about 39 percent of out-patients said they waited at least two hours to see a doctor, and 75 percent of patients felt waiting times were too long. Patients were also dissatisfied with long waits for medical results.

Local health authorities said they have launched health reforms to meet patients' demands. The government is building a health system encouraging patients to visit grassroots hospitals for common and chronic diseases, encouraging reservations for out-patient service and allowing hospitals to share records to avoid unnecessary tests.

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