Investigating perceived justice in South African health care
De Meyer, C.F.
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The health care industry plays an important role in the life of consumers since it impacts their personal well-being and those close to them. This industry involves ample customer contact resulting in service encounters that are often negative. The health care industry in South Africa is typified by large disparities between the public and private healthcare sectors. As in other industries, customer satisfaction, loyalty and consequently long-term survival of health care businesses are also influenced by customers experiencing a sense of perceived justice following a negative service encounter. This study uncovers the perceived justice experienced by patients in both public and private health care sectors in reaction to negative service encounters. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted and the three underlying dimensions of the perceived justice concept as theorised by other authors were uncovered. Respondents perceive significant differences between these dimensions. Furthermore, public health care patients perceive significantly lower levels of procedural and distributive justice than private health care patients. The study did not uncover any differences in relation to perceived justice among respondents based on demorgraphic characteristics. Based on the results, marketers are able to design strategies to recover from service failures and increase the perceived justice patients experience.