Acceptance and utilisation of primary health care in Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia
The provision of health services to all the population is one of the highest priorities in many governments' agenda, because the health system, education and social security are important indicators of the level of development of a state. However, the provision of health services to cover all the population is not easy, particularly in many developing counnies, which lack human and financial resources. In 1978, at Alma - Ata WHO and UNICEF jointly declared the primacy of the primary health care ( PHC) approach for achieving the WHO's social goal, " health for all the people by the year 2000". Since then, PHC has become a major concern on national and international levels. Saul Arabia one of the countries which has adopted and implemented the PHC approach.This study explores the implementation of the PHC approach, the utilisation of health services delivered at the health centres and health awareness in Jeddah, a major urban centre in Saudi Arabia, where public and private health services co-exist and compete, and where traditional medicine is still used and practised. A sample comprising both utilisers of the PHC centres and non- utilisers were questioned about their health practices, beliefs and attitudes, and an attempt was made to determine whether socio- economic and demographic characteristics were significantly related to utilisation and health awareness. No single pattern of attitude or behaviour was found to be consistently related to socio-economic or demographic characteristics. However, the findings indicate the general significance of education.The nature of service provision was found to affect satisfaction and a need was found to improve the quality of the health service and to remove bureaucratic barriers which impede utilisation. Although many aspects of PHC are successfully implemented, there is evidence of misunderstandings of the approach by both consumers and providers, which limits both utilisation and satisfaction. In particular providers and users still prioritises curative above preventive medicine, health education is still neglected, and the potential of the media in this respect is under-exploited.Finally, traditional medicine was found to be used and practised, but the finding; indicate there is not necessarily a conflict between the two systems. They appear to be used in a complementary way, and them may be scope for integration.