COMPARISON OF SERVICE QUALITY BETWEEN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC HOSPITALS: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCES FROM PAKISTAN

Topics: Hospital, Quality management, Service Pages: 46 (6591 words) Published: September 23, 2013
Journal of Quality and Technology Management 
Volume VII, Issue I, June, 2011, Page 1 ‐ 22 

COMPARISON OF SERVICE QUALITY BETWEEN
PRIVATE AND PUBLIC HOSPITALS: EMPIRICAL
EVIDENCES FROM PAKISTAN
S. M. Irfan1, A. Ijaz2
1COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Lahore – Pakistan 2Institute of Quality and Technology Management,
University of Punjab, Lahore – Pakistan

ABSTRACT
Healthcare sector of a country needs special attentions from the government as quality of healthcare provides hope and relief to the patients and their dependents. It also helps to maintain a healthy human capital that contributes in the development of the country. Now quality has become an icon for customers while availing any services or buying a product and it is also a strategic advantage for the organizations to gain success and remain competitive in the market by delivering superior quality of services or products based on customer requirements. The objective of this study is to compare the quality of healthcare services delivered by the public and private hospitals to gain patient satisfaction in Pakistan. For this purpose ‘SERVQUAL’ instrument was used to measure the patient’s perception about service quality delivered by these hospitals. Five service quality dimensions; empathy, tangibles, assurance, timeliness and assurance were used in order to measure the patient’s perceptions about the service quality of public and private hospitals located in the 2nd largest city Lahore, Pakistan . Due to the nature of this study only those respondents were included in the study having perceptions about both the hospitals. Therefore, 320 questionnaires were selected for this study. Results showed that private hospitals are delivering better quality of services to their patients as compared to public hospitals.

Key Words: public hospitals, private hospitals, patient, service quality

INTRODUCTION
Changing customer demands, increased expectations for superior quality of products or services and the global competition has created a competitive environment among different industrial sectors. Quality has become an icon for customers while selecting a service or product and at

Comparison of Service Quality between Private and Public Hospitals: Empirical Evidences from Pakistan 

the same time organizations are making efforts for providing quality products or services as per customers’ needs and wants. Quality has been considered as a strategic advantage for the organizations to gain success and to sustain in the business world.

The manufacturing sector in many countries around the globe had successfully benefited by implementing the quality management principles and gained remarkable success both at local market as well as in the global market. Products are tangible in nature and quality of the products can be easily measured whereas the services are intangible in nature and difficult to measure as compared with the products. Due to intangible in nature, it is difficult to measure the quality of any services as it is highly dependent on customer perceptions and expectations (Samson & Parker, 1994).

Quality has become a key determinant in both industrial and service sector to gain maximum return on investments and also significantly contributed in reduction of cost (Anderson and Zeithaml 1984; Parasuraman et al., 1985). Service organizations like the manufacturing organizations are now well aware about the facts that they need to take preventive quality measures to gain customer satisfaction and retention (Spreng & MacKoy, 1996; Reichheld & Sasser, 1990). The importance of service quality has been recognized and its implementation escorts the organizations to increase organizational performance, customer satisfaction and loyalty (Berry et al., 1989; Reichheld & Sasser, 1990; Rust & Zahorik, 1993; Spreng & MacKoy, 1996; Cronin et al., 2000; Yoon & Suh, 2004; Kang & James, 2004).

Like the other service organizations; healthcare sector has...

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