Compliance with the Batho Pele principles in a primary health care context
Khumalo, Idah Deliwe
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In this study the focus is on Batho Pele (a Sotho translation for 'people first'), an initiative to get people that work in the public services to be service orientated and to strive for excellence towards continuous service delivery improvement (SA, 2004a:8). Batho Pele consist of a framework with two primary functions that apply to this study; service delivery to people as the customers (patients in this study) and the possibility to hold individual public servants (health care personnel in this study) accountable for poor service delivery. This, in fact, implies that poor performance lead to poor service delivery; thus, compliance with the Batho Pele principles plays a pivotal role to improve quality health care service delivery. The purpose of the study was to make recommendations to enhance the current compliance with the Batho Pele principles in a Primary Health Care (PHC) context that would positively improve quality care and patient satisfaction. A non–experimental, quantitative, descriptive study was undertaken within the philosophical framework of the Batho Pele principles as well as the Patients‘ Right Charter. All participants completed a structured questionnaire to determine the level of compliance with the Batho Pele principles as experienced by the patients and viewed by the health care personnel in a PHC context. The data collected, was analysed using descriptive statistics. Four PHC clinics were involved, situated at Umzinyathi District Health in the Kwazulu Natal (KZN) Province of South Africa. The study included two patient–population samples, based on convenience; the participants that visited the clinics (n=132) and the participants visited by the researcher at home (n=101). Fifty– six (n=56) health care personnel who voluntary agreed to participate in the study were an all–inclusive sample. The findings revealed that the patients in the study felt more secure to answer the questions on their experiences regarding compliances with the Batho Pele principles at home and this could be an important consideration when conducting patient satisfaction surveys. It was also clear that patients were more dissatisfied than health care personnel in most questions asked regarding their experience on the compliance with the Batho Pele principles in a PHC context. Recommendations were made in the light of what was contained in the study that can serve as a starting point to address identified shortcomings in nursing practice, nursing education and nursing research.
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