Jul 30, 2018

How much time to sick kids get with doctors in low-income countries?

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How long do sick kids in low-income countries get to spent with their physician at a doctor’s visit?  A paper by Kruk et al. (2018) surveys health facilities in Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda to find out.  The answer is that patient’s do not get much time at all.

The median duration of 15,444 observations was 8 minutes; providers performed 8.4 of a maximum 24 clinical actions per visit. Content of care was minimally greater for severely ill children. Each additional clinical action was associated with 2 percent higher caregiver knowledge.

These surveys are nationally representative with a fairly large sample size and appear reliable.


  • Kruk, Margaret E., Anna D. Gage, Godfrey M. Mbaruku, and Hannah H. Leslie. “Content of Care in 15,000 Sick Child Consultations in Nine Lower‐Income Countries.” Health services research (2018).

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