REVIEW – February 2005

Satisfaction with primary care services among the Estonian population


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Acceptability and satisfaction with care are the two important criteria of the quality of a health system. Based on the population surveys in 1998 and 2002, this paper describes how satisfied patients are with their family doctors and with the organisational aspects of the family doctors’ practices; the reasons why the patients change their family doctors as well as the acceptability of the present primary health care system. In general, satisfaction with the family doctor has improved since 1998, and approximately 80% of the population is satisfied or very much satisfied with their family doctors. The patients are most satisfied with the location and the physical environment of the practice, but also with the ease of access and with the communication with the doctor. Of the respondents, 14% have changed their family doctors during the last three years, mostly owing to changing the place of residence. In comparison with the previous organisation of the primary health care system, more than half of the respondents considered the existing system more acceptable.