Patients with regular doctor most satisfied
Many are very satisfied with the doctor they go to, and the percentage that are very satisfied is higher for those with a regular doctor. However, many who have a regular doctor have to reckon on changing their regular doctor in the course of a year, even though they do not want to.
On average people over the age of 16 contact a doctor four times a year for their own illnesses. While people who consider their health to be very good or good have two to three contacts per year, people who consider their health to be poor or very poor have 11 to 16 contacts per year on average. Nearly one in four has not had contact with a doctor in the past year. Those with a regular doctor have more contacts with the doctor than those without a regular doctor.
Two out of three have a regular doctor
In the survey two out of three answered that they had a regular doctor. Patients with a regular doctor were more satisfied with their doctor than others. While 75 per cent of those without a regular doctor believed that they were taken seriously by the doctor, the percentage for those with a regular doctor was between 85 and 90 per cent. Those who have a regular specialist outside the hospital were the most satisfied.
Involuntary change of doctor
Of those who go to general practitioners, four in 10 said that they had changed their regular doctor at least once in the last year. The results shows that a large majority of these changes took place without the patient wanting to do so. The extent of involuntary changes of doctors was less for those going to specialists. Altogether eight per cent of these people had to involuntarily change their regular specialist doctor in the last year.
One in eight go to a specialist as a regular doctor
There are several indications that the use of the specialist health service is changing. The results show that one in eight count their specialist as their regular doctor. Of these, just over half had their regular doctor at a hospital, while the rest went to specialists with private practices outside the hospital. For both of these groups it was common to have a regular general practitioner in addition. Those who go to specialists are also heavy users of medical services. Those who have both a specialist at a hospital and a general practitioner as their regular doctor contacted their doctors an average of just over 10 times per year due to illness.
Keeping regular doctors is rural areas is difficult
Interns and municipal physicians paid by the municipality are commonly seen in thinly populated municipalities located far away from major towns. Residents of municipalities with general medical services organized in this manner have greater difficulties than others in keeping a regular doctor. In urban areas general practitioners with private practices are more common, and the patients of such doctors have an easier time of seeing their regular doctor. The results also show that fewer men than women go to a regular doctor. Elderly persons often have a regular doctor, and the same applies to those who consider themselves in poor health.
- Table 1 Use of regular doctor. Per cent
- Table 2 Average number of times people contacted a doctor about their own illnesses in the last 12 months. By age, sex, own evaluation of health and continuity of doctor-patient relationship. Per cent.
- Table 3 Satisfaction with medical service after assignment of regular doctor. Percentage who answered "completely agree" to the statement "The doctor took me and my problems seriously". Per cent.