|Only three out of 10 people said they are satisfied with the medical service provided at neighborhood hospitals and clinics. / Gettyimagebanks|
By Kim Jae-heun
Only three out of 10 people said they are satisfied with the medical service provided at neighborhood hospitals and clinics, a report showed, Tuesday.
Also, nearly half of people who seek treatment at larger medical institutions such as general hospitals do so according to their own judgment rather than by the clinic doctors' recommendation.
The report released by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA) showed people put little credence in small clinics in their hometowns believing the quality of medical services to be low.
The study was conducted on 2,000 citizens aged between 19 and 69 about their satisfaction level with town clinics, general hospitals and university hospitals.
Just a little over 31 percent of the respondents evaluated the medical services provided at local clinics as satisfactory. About 56 percent said so-so, and 12.2 percent said they are dissatisfied with the treatment they receive at neighborhood clinics.
For the cause of dissatisfaction, 26.6 percent said the treatments there were not effective, while 25.8 percent said they cannot trust the diagnoses given by the local clinic doctors and 20.1 percent said they distrust doctors and nurses there.
Nearly one quarter of the survey participants had an experience of visiting a larger hospital within a month after receiving medical treatment at a local clinic.
As to the reason for changing medical institutions, 47.4 percent said the local clinics recommended they visit a larger hospital for a more precise check-up and quality treatment. But the others mainly chose to go to larger hospitals on their own and asked the clinics to issue a letter of referral, as they believed the larger institutions would provide more reliable diagnosis and treatment, due to having more state-of-the-art medical equipment and facilities.
"When you go to any clinic near your home, you pay for unnecessary check-ups and find their treatments ineffective," said a 36-year-old athlete surnamed Won. "Sometime doctors don't know what they are talking about and later I find out they misdiagnosed my problem."
About 39 percent of respondents said a doctor's career and expertise is the most important when choosing a local clinic, followed by 22.9 percent who wanted doctors to spend enough time diagnosing patients and giving them health consultations.
Some 19 percent said they prefer a doctor who has built trust with them following repeat visits, and 10.8 percent said they choose a clinic that forms a cooperation system with a larger hospital.