The Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme has extended its’ benefit by allowing beneficiaries to get
elective surgery in accredited private hospitals with some cost sharing since May 2011. Three are 77 avail-able procedures in 32 private hospitals for this matter; however, three main procedures, intraocular lens
replacement for cataract, knee replacement surgery, and cesarean section, accounted for 88 percent of all
procedures. This study aimed to assess patients’ experiences in getting elective surgery from private hospitals
in terms of channels of receiving information and access to private hospital, burden of expenditure,
and their satisfaction. The study employed a telephone interview with patients or care givers, who received
any of the three main procedures, within a week after being discharged from private hospital.
Results reveal that majority of users were those with age60 and above and were parents of civil servants.
Main channels of information about this benefit gotten by the patients included physician who provided
care for them, message from friends or relatives, and public relation of private hospital. Apart from community
screening for cataract, physician who works in both public and private hospitals was key actor
bringing the patient to private hospital. Main reasons for getting care from private hospital include shorter
queue, convenience in transportation, and following their preferred physician. Majority of them were
informed about the payments prior to admission; however, most of them did not know that they could
compare the price with that of other hospitals prior to making decision. It was found that the level of cost
sharing for knee replacement surgery varied greatly, ten times, among private hospitals. This let some of
them reporting incurred financial burden even though it was unclear whether it was catastrophic for
them. However, this made some of them would not recommend the others to use private hospital. Despite
the cost sharing, majority of them had high level of satisfaction in using private hospital and would recommend
the others to use private hospital for elective surgery.