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Perceptions of Indonesian general practitioners in maintaining standards of medical practice at a time of health reform

21 Sep 2015

Background.

There is little research on how GPs experience the demands of maintaining standards of medical practice in developing countries and what strategies might improve their capability to provide high-quality primary health care (PHC).

Objective.

This study aims to explore the underlying factors, which shape GPs’ experience within the Indonesian PHC system and impact on their experience of professional practice.

Methods.

A grounded theory approach was applied using semi-structured interviews of 25 purposively selected GPs in West Sumatra, Indonesia. The interviews were analysed inductively through an iterative process of the interplay between empirical data, emerging analysis and theory development.

Results.

Three major health care systems attribute shaped GPs’ experiences of professional practice, including (i) a restricted concept of the PHC system, (ii) lack of regulation of private primary care practice conducted by GPs, midwives, nurses and specialists and (iii) low coverage and inappropriate policy of the health insurance system.

Conclusion.

The findings indicate that a major revision of current health care system is required with a focus on promoting the concept of PHC services to the population, redefining the role of the GP to deliver recognised best practice within available resources, changing the way GPs are remunerated by the public health system and the health insurance industry, policing of the regulations related to the scope of practice of other health care professionals, particularly midwives and nurses, and regulation of prescribing. GPs can be the champions of the PHC service that Indonesia needs, but it requires sustained systematic change.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Family Practice