Satisfaction with Delivery Services Offered under the Free Maternal Healthcare Policy in Kenyan Public Health Facilities.
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Background: Patients' satisfaction is an individual's positive assessment regarding a distinct dimension of healthcare and the perception about the quality of services offered in that health facility. Patients who are not satisfied with healthcare services in a certain health facility will bypass the facility and are unlikely to seek treatment in that facility. Objective: To determine satisfaction level of mothers with the free maternal services in selected Kenyan public health facilities after the implementation of the free maternal healthcare policy. Methods: Data was collected through a quantitative exit survey questionnaire. The respondents were mothers who had delivered in the health facilities and were waiting to leave the health facilities after discharge. The sample included 2,216 mothers in 77 public health facilities across 14 counties in Kenya under tier 3 and tier 4 categories. The number of respondents to be interviewed was proportionately arrived at based on each health facility's bed capacity. Results: The study established a satisfaction rate of 54.5% among the beneficiaries of the free maternal healthcare services in the country. Mothers benefiting from the free delivery services were satisfied with communication by the healthcare workers, staff availability in the delivery rooms, availability of staff in the wards, and drug and supplies availability (>56%) but unsatisfied with consultation time, cleanliness, and privacy in the wards (<56%). High education levels and lengthy stay in healthcare facilities were negatively associated with the satisfaction with the free delivery services (P < 0.05). Conclusion: There is a high satisfaction with the free maternal healthcare services in Kenya. However, the implementation of the free maternal healthcare policy was associated with low privacy, poor hygiene, and low consultation time in the health facilities. Therefore there is need to address these service gaps so as to attract more mothers to deliver in public health facilities.
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