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Never accept second-rate healthcare services, you deserve the best

By Dr Alfred Murage | December 14th 2020

If you think of any type of healthcare, you will find multiple providers offering similar services. But similar services never equate to similar healthcare outcomes.

Some healthcare providers will have enhanced capacity and better outcomes. Others will seemingly appear to be of equivalent capacity, but with awfully poor medical outcomes for their patients. How can you judge who provides healthcare of superior quality? This is never an easy task. Perceptions can easily be swayed by unregulated advertising, false representations of superiority, and even faked testimonials.

But if you are keen on optimal health outcomes, you can easily filter out less desired healthcare providers and only seek care from those whose quality metrics are highest. An easy indicator of healthcare quality is certification with a renowned entity.

Healthcare providers with verifiable certifications of quality will usually have undergone rigorous processes of quality improvement. And they must continually demonstrate high levels of quality of care. Any missteps and their certification gets downgraded.

But there’s a caveat. Such certifications can be overly expensive, weeding out others from attaining similar marks of quality. So, look out for those with quality certification. But beware others may have similar quality, or better, even when they are uncertified.

The power of observation alone can tell you lots about healthcare quality. Make a random visit to any facility of interest. The prevailing ambience speaks for itself. A quick look at all the staff, both medical and non-medical, will give you untold clues about how the institution functions. You could go further and make a mock appointment. How easy you negotiate the system will leave you full of admiration, or your experience might make you want to get to the exit doors as soon as you get in.

It shouldn’t ever matter whether you are seeking healthcare with a public or private institution. Every healthcare provider, regardless of their ownership status, has a non-negotiable obligation to provide the highest levels of healthcare quality.

It shouldn’t ever be anything to do with funding, staffing, location or whatever else. Healthcare is in the business of dealing with matters of life and death. Anyone providing second-rate care should be doing the kind of businesses where mediocrity is standard. There are many factors that impact on your overall health outcomes.

The quality of healthcare ranks pretty high among such factors. Some will get a cure, or optimal disease control in certain healthcare facilities, while others will quickly deteriorate when they get their care in competing facilities.
Make it your duty to go where quality is proven, even if it means forking out more. If you get poor care, give appropriate feedback and spread the word. This may prompt positive changes and make a difference for others.

- Dr Alfred Murage is a Consultant Gynecologist and Fertility Specialist
[email protected]

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