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Salud Pública de México

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BRONFMAN, MARIO et al. "We do what we can": Health service providers facing the service utilization problem. Salud pública Méx [online]. 1997, vol.39, n.6, pp.546-553. ISSN 0036-3634.

This study presents the second part of the general results obtained by a qualitative study conducted within the National Health Survey II. The object of this study was to identify main patterns and micro-social determinants which affect the process of selection and utilization of health services in order to propose policies aimed at more equity, quality and efficiency in health service delivery. The study was conducted in urban areas among the middle and middle-low class sectors. A total of 192 individual open-ended interviews and eight focus groups were completed among health users in four cities. Also, 61 service providers both from public and private services were interviewed. Since a previous work reported findings related to health service users, this study focuses only on the results pertaining to health service providers. The first part briefly discusses the study design which allowed to explore the meaning that actors -health service providers- attach to their job and working conditions. The second part presents the main findings. The sense of economic and material precariousness with which health providers from public institutions do their work is among the most important results. Common conflicts between health service users and providers are also mentioned, mainly those which arise from the organizational problems of the health center and from the scarcity of the basic drug stock. The third part reports the main coincidences and divergences between health service users and providers. Some of the divergences may be the reason for the under-utilization of health services. The work concludes with a series of policy recommendations aimed at improving the quality and opportunity of health services provided by public institutions for the needs of the population.

Keywords : health services [utilization]; quality of health care; Mexico.

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