Racial Disparities in the Tangible Dimension of the Public Health Care in South Africa

J.W. de Jager, A.T. Roux, M.S. Mokhola

Abstract


Health care inequality is detrimental to the wellbeing of any country, yet healthcare is not immune to the deeply rooted inequalities in society. Researchers have examined health care quality in many settings, however relatively little analysis is available on inequality in the tangible dimension provided by public hospitals in developing countries. The purpose of this study was to determine if equality exists between black- and white in-patients in terms of the service tangibility dimension. A total of five hundred and twenty five interview administrated surveys were conducted with patients of at one of the largest public hospitals in South Africa. It was found that overall the cleanliness of bedding and wards was regarded as the most important. Black in-patients as well as white in-patients expressed similar expectations. This area was also perceived as the most satisfactory. Black in-patients perceived these service areas similar while the white in-patients had a slightly different view. Clear informative signage and the visibility of staff identity were indicated at the least satisfactory. Findings of this study can contribute to addressing problem areas in service tangibly in public hospitals and to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities experienced.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n27p1521


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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