Clients satisfaction at primary healthcare facilities and its association with implementation of client service charter in Tanzania

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 15;17(8):e0272321. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272321. eCollection 2022.


Background: Client service charter (CSC) provides information about what people can expect in a facility's services; what is expected of clients and service providers. Tanzania implemented Star Rating Assessment (SRA) of primary health care (PHC) facilities in 2015/16 and 2017/18 using SRA tools with 12 service areas. This paper assesses the status of service area 7, namely client focus that checked if client was satisfied with services provided and implementation of CSC through three indicators-if: CSC was displayed; CSC was monitored; client feedback mechanism and complaints handling was in place.

Methods: We extracted and performed a cross-sectional secondary data analysis of data related to clients' focus that are found in national SRA database of 2017/2018 using STATA version 15. Client satisfaction was regarded as dependent variable while facility characteristics plus three indicators of CSC as independent variables. Multivariate logistic regression with p-value of 5% and 95% confidence interval (CI) were applied.

Results: A total of 4,523 facilities met our inclusion criteria; 3,987 (88.2%) were dispensaries, 408 (9.0%) health centres and 128 (2.8%) hospitals. CSC was displayed in 69.1% facilities, monitored in 32.4% facilities, and 32.5% of the facilities had mechanisms for clients' feedback and handling complaints. The overall prevalence of clients' satisfaction was 72.8%. Clients' satisfaction was strongly associated with all implementation indicators of CSC. Clients from urban-based facilities had 21% increased satisfaction compared rural-based facilities (AOR 1.21; 95%CI: 1.00-1.46); and clients from hospitals had 39% increased satisfaction compared to dispensaries (AOR 1.39; 95%CI: 1.10-1.77).

Conclusion: The implementation of CSC is low among Tanzanian PHC facilities. Clients are more satisfied if received healthcare services from facilities that display the charter, monitor its implementation, have mechanisms to obtain clients feedback and handle complaints. Clients' satisfaction at PHC could be improved through adoption and implementation of CSC.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tanzania

Grants and funding

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.