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Waiting Time, General Outpatient Clinic, GOPC, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Background: Waiting time is an important indicator of the quality of healthcare services in public and private health facilities. This study compared the waiting time at the general outpatient clinics (GOPC) in a private and public hospital in Rivers State.
Methodology: A comparative cross-sectional survey using a multi-stage sampling technique was used to select a total of 299 ambulatory adult patients attending the GOPC in a public and private hospital. Time spent at service stations was obtained using a record sheet. SPSS version 23 was used to analyze data and p-values ≤0.05 were considered significant.
Results: Ambulatory patients on average spend 122.6 minutes for GOPC encounters in the public hospital and 44.9 minutes in the private hospital. This difference of 77.8 (95%CI: 66.6, 89.0) minutes was statistically significant (p = 0.001).
Conclusion: The duration of time spent to access GOPC services underscores the need for system redesign to reduce the time spent and improve the satisfaction of patients attending the GOPC.