In a recent survey conducted by consumer insights company Pondering Panda, it was found that young South Africans, who had either been to a government clinic or hospital in the last year, were dissatisfied with the care they received. 1849 respondents, aged between 18 and 34, were interviewed across South Africa, and asked about their perceptions regarding state hospitals and clinics. When asked about their level of satisfaction, 54% said government clinics and hospitals were either ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ good when it came to treating sick and injured people. In comparison, 44% felt they were doing a ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ good job in this area.
Respondents were most negative about the healthcare system in Gauteng, where almost two thirds (63%) were dissatisfied with their experiences. Healthcare in Limpopo and Mpumalanga was also seen as poor, with about 60% of respondents in these two regions feeling this way.
The attitude of healthcare professionals was seen to be making the situation worse. When asked about nurses, respondents felt they did not have a caring attitude, and that this was affecting patients. Almost two thirds (64%) felt that nurses in state clinics and hospitals did not really care about the people they treated. Doctors fared better, as they were more likely to be seen to be caring, but still had room for improvement. 2 in 5 (40%) felt doctors did not really care about their patients, but about half (51%) said doctors did have a caring attitude towards the people they looked after, based on their experience.
Shirley Wakefield, spokesperson for Pondering Panda said, “It’s clear that young people are not happy with the healthcare provided by government. Exacerbating the situation is the fact the nurses are seen to be uncaring. Doctors fare considerably better, although there is still room for improvement. However, with the pressures on South Africa’s healthcare system, doctors and nurses may also not have the time or resources they need to provide the standard of care patients deserve.”
All interviews were carried out on cellphones between the 14th and 18th of March, across South Africa. Responses were weighted to be nationally representative in terms of age, gender and race.