Journal article Open Access

BARRIERS FACING PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PHYSICIANS WHILE DEALING WITH EMERGENCY CASES IN TAIF CITY. SAUDI ARABIA, 2021

Alaa Daifallah Althobaiti, Abdulaziz Daifallah Althobaiti, Mohammed Daifallah Althobaiti

Introduction: PHC physicians, as a first-line care providers, will experience all types of medical emergencies, ranging from minor symptoms to serious life-threatening events. In Taif city, data regarding emergency services at PHC level is scarce. In this study, we tried estimate the prevalence of emergency cases encountered at PHC centers in Taif city and to explore the factors and barriers that are facing PHC physicians when dealing with emergencies.

Methodology: This descriptive cross-sectional study included 150 physicians working in PHC centers of the Ministry of Health in Taif City, Saudi Arabia. This study utilized a self-administered questionnaire for data collection. The questionnaire contained information about  level of training, previous emergency courses and experiences, and perceived competence when dealing with emergency cases.  An observation sheet was used to evaluate the availability of equipment, drugs and other supporting facilities in PHC centers. Kruskal Wallis test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to assess relationship between variables.

Results: 150 PHC physicians were included in the study. 52% were males and 48% were females. Their age regened between 24 and 59 years, with a mean age of 33.1 ± 8.0 years. The majority of the physicians [95.3%] had attended a BLS course, while half of them [50.7%] had attended ACLS course and only few physicians [18%] had attended ATLS course. Throughout the period from August 2020 to July 2021, the prevalence of emergency cases reported to PHC centers in Taif city was 6.1%. The perceived competence in dealing with emergency department was better for physicians with longer work experience in PHC centers, have attended ACLS course, had work experience in emergency department, and those in the higher age groups [p <0.05].

Conclusion: The prevalence of emergency cases encountered in PHC centers in Taif city was 6.1% and is in concordance with previous national studies. However, this adds up to a total of 70,600 cases per year. The PHC centers in Taif city are functioning well in terms of availability of medications, equipment and infrastructures. he majority of the PHC physicians in Taif city have received BLS training course [95.3%], however, a large percentage of them did not receive ATLS or ACLS course.

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