Majority of patients at govt hospitals don’t provide valid phone numbers

PTI Feeds
Majority of patients at govt hospitals don’t provide valid phone numbers

New Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) An overwhelming majority of those undergoing treatment at public hospitals do not furnish valid mobile phone numbers, upsetting the government’s efforts to seek their opinion to improve services.

According to data compiled under the ‘Mera Aspataal’ (My Hospital) initiative of the Health Ministry, only 30 per cent of the total 1,02,12,062 patients, who had visited hospitals run by the central and 11 state governments between September last and April this year, provided valid phone numbers.

And of those who provided a valid mobile phone number, only 11 per cent or 3,87,738 responded to queries about their experience of services in hospital.

The initiative, which aims at empowering patients by seeking their views on quality of experience in a public healthcare facility, was launched in August last.

It has been implemented in 11 states, including Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, besides central government hospitals.

“The objective of the initiative is to help hospital authorities assess the quality of their services on various parameters, like staff behaviour and cleanliness, on the basis of the feedback given by patients,” a Health Ministry official said.

“However, if the patients themselves do not cooperate and avoid giving feedback or do not give correct phone numbers, the very basic objective behind the programme is defeated,” the official said.

Staff behaviour has been identified as the “most important reason” for dissatisfaction among patients, with 37 per cent or 24,785 of the 67,081 dissatisfied patients attributing the reason.

Besides, 14 per cent of them cited the cost of treatment as the reason for dissatisfaction, while 10 per cent found the lack of cleanliness a major issue.

The ‘Mera Aspataal’ initiative was launched by Health Minister J P Nadda. While launching the programme, he had said that patient satisfaction is the ultimate test for assessing quality of services, provided by a healthcare facility.

The Information and Communication Technology-based Patient Satisfaction System for implementation in public and empanelled private hospitals, is envisaged to empower the patient by seeking their views on quality of experience in a government institution.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.