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Open Access Research article

Quality of emergency medical care in Gondar University Referral Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia: a survey of patients’ perspectives

Belaynew Wasie Taye14*, Mensur Ousman Yassin2 and Zemene Tigabu Kebede3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

2 Department of Surgery, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

3 Department of Paediatrics, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

4 Operational Research Advisor, Amhara Regional Health Bureau, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

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BMC Emergency Medicine 2014, 14:2  doi:10.1186/1471-227X-14-2

Published: 23 January 2014



Ethiopia has fairly good coverage but very low utilization of health care services. Emergency medical care services require fast, correct and curious services to clients as they present with acute problems. In Ethiopia and Gondar in particular, the quality of emergency medical care has not been studied. The main aim of this study was to assess the disease profile and patients’ satisfaction in Gondar University Referral Hospital (GURH).


A facility based cross-sectional study was conducted among patients visiting GURH for emergency care. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Institutional Review Board of University of Gondar. Patients were selected by systematic random sampling, using patient flow list in the day and night emergency services. Data were collected using a standard Press Ganey questionnaire by BSc health science graduates. Data were entered in to Epi Info 3.5.3 software and exported to SPSS version 20.0 for windows for analysis.


A total of 963 patients (response rate = 96.8%) were studied. The mean (+ s.d.) age of patients was 28.4 (+17.9) years. The overall satisfaction using the mean score indicates that 498 (51.7%) 95%CI: (48.4% - 54.9%) were satisfied with the service, the providers and the facility suitability whereas 465(48.3%) 95%CI: (45.1%- 51.6%) were not satisfied. Seven hundred and six (73.3%) 95%CI: 70.4%-76.1%, patients reported that they have been discriminated or treated badly during the service provision in the hospital. OPD site visited (p < 0.0001), visiting days of the week (P < 0.049), medical condition on arrival (P < 0.0001), degree of confidence in the hospital (AOR = 1.9, 95%CI: 1.1, 3.1), reported discrimination/bad treatment of patients with service (AOR = 0.4, 95%CI: 0.2, 0.7), were significantly associated determinants of patient satisfaction.


Non-communicable disease emergencies like injuries and cardiovascular diseases are common. There is a low level of patient satisfaction related to lack of confidence in the hospital for treatment, discrimination towards patient care, and under and delayed treatment of patients who were not in serious medical conditions. Hospitals shall prepare themselves to address the increasing challenge of non-communicable disease emergencies. It is important to revise the service delivery in the emergency department to improve staff courtesy and politeness, commitment, reduce discrimination and bad treatment and proper triage of emergencies at all points of care to increase patient satisfaction giving emphasis to earlier working days.

Emergency care; Quality; Patient satisfaction; Gondar; Northwest Ethiopia