Public participation in the evaluation of health care
Fitzpatrick R., White D.
Of the many concepts and issues that have dominated debates in western health care systems in the last 20 or so years few can have had as much currency as that of 'patient satisfaction'. The word 'patient' is loaded and often deliberately substituted so that reference is made to the satisfaction of the 'user', 'consumer', 'community', 'public' or 'lay person'. All versions draw attention to a universal concern that modern health care is inherently prone to failure to meet the wants, needs, demands and expectations of the recipients of health care. 'Patient satisfaction' as a policy issue is invariably viewed as a problem in need of urgent solutions. For some analysts it is the most urgent of all problems for health care systems the primary purpose of which is to satisfy users and potential users of health care. © 1997 Blackwell Science Ltd.