Effect of health system reforms in Turkey on user satisfaction

J Stokes, I Gurol-Urganci, T Hone, R Atun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Downloads (Pure)


In 2003, the Turkish government introduced major health system changes, the Health Transformation Programme (HTP), to achieve universal health coverage (UHC). The HTP leveraged changes in all parts of the health system, organization, financing, resource management and service delivery, with a new family medicine model introducing primary care at the heart of the system. This article examines the effect of these health system changes on user satisfaction, a key goal of a responsive health system. Utilizing the results of a nationally representative yearly survey introduced at the baseline of the health system transformation, multivariate logistic regression analysis is used to examine the yearly effect on satisfaction with health services. During the 9–year period analyzed (2004–2012), there was a nearly 20% rise in reported health service use, coinciding with increased access, measured by insurance coverage. Controlling for factors known to contribute to user satisfaction in the literature, there is a significant (P <0.001) increase in user satisfaction with health services in almost every year (bar 2006) from the baseline measure, with the odds of being satisfied with health services in 2012, 2.56 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.01–3.24) times that in 2004, having peaked at 3.58 (95% CI 2.82–4.55) times the baseline odds in 2011. Additionally, those who used public primary care services were slightly, but significantly (P <0.05) more satisfied than those who used any other services, and increasingly patients are choosing primary care services rather than secondary care services as the provider of first contact. A number of quality indicators can probably help account for the increased satisfaction with public primary care services, and the increase in seeking first–contact with these providers. The implementation of primary care focused UHC as part of the HTP has improved user satisfaction in Turkey.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)020403
JournalJournal of global health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Health Systems
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Healthcare reforms
  • Turkey
  • Primary care


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of health system reforms in Turkey on user satisfaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this