A Follow-Up Survey Of Out-Patients In A Medical Clinic For Africans At Harare Hospital In Rhodesia
Maar, S. A.
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It was an early impression when commencing work in a medical unit at 'Harare Hospital that a large proportion of patients failed to return to the out-patient clinic on discharge from hospital despite the chronic or serious nature of their disease. An attempt was therefore made to assess the magnitude of the problem, it seeming both of interest and importance to the practicing physician at Harare Hospital to know more, exactly the likelihood of a patient returning for follow-up care, especially where circumstances may force an early discharge due to pressure on beds. These estimations seemed relevant when considering the African patient who usually has no regular private practitioner and relies more heavily on the hospital or clinic. It must also be considered in relation to the costs of modern in-patient care and treatment which may be considered wasted if patients are not followed up. In these oases re-admission may involve further intensive therapy and expenditure which could have been prevented. These thoughts initiated a five months’ survey of return attendances which will be compared to similar problems in other areas.