Quality of Care in Public and Private Primary Health Care Facilities

Structural Comparisons in Jamaica

Published in: Bulletin of PAHO, v. 28, June 1994, p. 122-140

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1993

by John Peabody, Omar Rahman, Kristin Fox, Paul Gertler

Uses structural measures to assess quality in 366 public and 189 private clinics in Jamaica in 1990. The article reporting the findings also appeared in a Spanish-language journal. The authors conclude that public clinics provide better prenatal diagnosis and counseling and more family planning services than private clinics. However, private clinics are in better physical condition, better equipped and supplied, and better able to supply laboratory results in a timely manner. Urban clinics are better equipped than rural clinics; however, rural clinics are in better repair. The authors of this article recognize that measurement of quality based on structure does not necessarily indicate that care is better or worse, but they conclude that in countries such as Jamaica one needs to have sufficient equipment to make care possible.

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