The Gatekeeper Model: patient’s view on the role of the family physician

Verulava, Tengiz and Dangadze, Beka and Jorbenadze, Revaz and Lordkipanidze, Ana and Karimi, Leila and Eliava, Ekaterine and Maglakelidze, Tamar (2020) The Gatekeeper Model: patient’s view on the role of the family physician. Family Medicine & Primary Care Review, 22 (1). pp. 75-79. ISSN 1734-3402

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Background. An adequate primary healthcare system substantially determines the quality of health of the population and effective spending of healthcare resources. The family physician, serving as a ‘gatekeeper’, can make judicious decisions about the appropriate use of medical services. Objectives. The goal of this study was to find out patients’ characteristics, preferences and behaviour in regard to the role of the family physician as a gatekeeper in the Republic of Georgia. Material and methods. As part of a cross-sectional quantitative study, respondents were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Results. A majority of the respondents (53.7%, n = 245) had a permanent family physician, but were not satisfied with the level of the family physician’s professionalism (56.6%, n = 258) and preferred self-referral to specialists (55%, n = 253). Only 19.5% (n = 89) referred to specialists upon the family physician’s advice, who would coordinate all services, and 23% (n = 103) have used both family physicians and self-referral. Private health insurance companies were more interested in implementing cost reducing mechanisms rather than the Social Service Agency (which is responsible for the Universal Health Care Programme). Conclusions. It is appropriate to share private health insurance experiences for developing the model of a gatekeeper in the UHCP. In order to improve a family physician institute and increase confidence in it, it is recommended to raise the level of family physicians’ skills in their relations with patients, as this has a significant effect on patient preferences. It is advisable to develop a flexible and voluntary gatekeeper model which will better suit the needs of both patients and physicians.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: primary health care, family physician, referral to family physician
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HL Healthcare Policy and Management
H Social Sciences > HO Public Health
Divisions: Centres > Insurance and Public Health Center
Depositing User: Professor Tengiz Verulava
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2020 20:00
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2020 20:00

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