Barriers Facing Primary Health Care Physicians When Dealing with Emergency Cases in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

  •  Majed Aloufi    
  •  Marwan Bakarman    


OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of emergency cases reporting to Primary Health Care centers (PHC), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and to explore the barriers facing PHC physicians when dealing with such emergency cases.

METHODS: A cross-sectional analytic study, where all physicians working in the PHC of the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Jeddah; were invited to participate (n=247). The study period was from July 2013 till December 2013. Data were collected through two sources. 1- A self-administered questionnaire used to determine the physicians’ perceived competence when dealing with emergency cases. 2- A structured observation sheet used to evaluate availability of equipment, drugs, ambulances and other supporting facilities required to deal with emergency cases.

RESULTS: The response rate was 83.4%. The physicians’ age ranged between 25 and 60 years with a mean ±SD of 34.4±7.5 years. Majority of them (83.5%) did not attend ATLS courses at all whereas 60.7% never attended ACLS courses. The majority (97.1%) had however attended BLS courses. Physicians in the age group 36-45 years, non-Saudi, those who had SBFM, those who reported experience in working in emergency departments and physicians who reported more working years in PHCCs (>5 years) had a significant higher score of perceived level of competence in performing emergency skill scale than others (P<0.05). The prevalence of emergency cases attending PHC in Jeddah (2013) was 5.2%.

CONCLUSION: Emergency services at PHC in Jeddah are functioning reasonably well, but require fine tuning of services and an upgrade in their quality.

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