Background Quality service delivery in primary care requires motivated and competent health professionals. In the Kenyan private sector, general practitioners (GP), with no post-graduate training in family medicine, offer primary care. There is a paucity of evidence on the ability of primary care providers to deliver comprehensive care and no such evidence is available for GPs practising in the private sector in Kenya.
Aim To evaluate GPs’ training and experience in the skills required for comprehensive primary care.
Design and setting A cross-sectional descriptive survey in 13 primary care clinics in the private sector of Nairobi, Kenya
Method A questionnaire, originally designed for a national survey of primary care doctors in South Africa, was adapted. The study collected self-reported data on performance of clinical skills by 25 GPs. Data were analysed in the Statistical Package for Social Sciences.
Results GPs were mostly under 40 years, with less than 10 years of experience and an equal gender distribution. GPs reported moderate performance with adult health, communication and consultation, and clinical administration; and weak performance with emergencies, child health, surgery, ear-nose-and-throat, eyes, women’s health and orthopaedics. The GPs lacked training in specific skills such as proctoscopy, contraceptive devices, skin procedures, intra-articular injections, red reflex test and use of a genogram.
Conclusion General practitioners lacked training and performed poorly in some of the essential skills required in primary care. Continuing professional development, training in Family Medicine and deployment of family physicians to the clinics could improve the comprehensiveness of care. ….more