Patient satisfaction with prescribed medicines in community health services in China: A cross-sectional survey 6 years after the implementation of the national essential medicines policy
The National essential medicines policy (NEMP) is promoted by the World Health Organization for affordable medicines that can meet the basic needs of communities. Patient acceptance is essential for achieving the policy goals of the NEMP. This study aimed to assess patient satisfaction with prescribed medicines in community health services under the NEMP context in China. A stratified random sampling strategy was adopted to select 1,037 participants in 40 community health centres from four provinces in China. Patient satisfaction was rated on a five-point Likert scale (from 1 = "very dissatisfied" to 5 = "very satisfied") covering four domains: availability, affordability, effectiveness and safety. The results showed that the participants expressed a moderate degree of satisfaction, with a rating in the range of 66-82 out of a total of 100. Older people, those covered by insurance and those with a lower level of education tended to have higher ratings. While eastern (wealthy) residents were more likely to be concerned with "effectiveness," western (poor) residents were more likely to be concerned with "affordability." Awareness of the NEMP was negatively associated with patient satisfaction after control for other factors.