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Ong CWG, Chio TWM, Sen P, Tan HH, Hu Y, Chan R
Correspondence: Dr Gavin Ong Chun Wei, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction The department of Sexually Transmitted infections (STI) control (DSC) clinic is the only public STI clinic in Singapore. This study aimed to determine patients’ perception of the clinic as well as the factors that may influence their choice of DSC Clinic over other medical facilities. The concerns of certain risk groups were also assessed.
Methods Self-administered anonymous questionnaires were offered to Singaporeans and permanent residents over 18 years of age who were seeking treatment at the DSC Clinic. 1,000 responses were collected over a period of four weeks in May 2009.
Results More than two-thirds of the patients had a positive experience at the DSC Clinic and would recommend the clinic to their family and friends. Positive attributes included competence of staff and the convenience of a one-stop treatment facility. The patients’ visits to the DSC Clinic also prompted them to engage in safer sexual practices. Stigma was surprisingly not an issue among more than three-quarters of the patients. Confidentiality of medical records was a major concern, with more than half of the patients unwilling to share their records with other healthcare providers, employers or insurance companies. The majority of patients would like to see the provision of clinics catering to special groups such as young people, women as well as men-who-have-sex-with-men.
Conclusion The majority of patients were satisfied with the health services provided at the DSC Clinic. Confidentiality in consultation was of prime importance to patients.
Keywords: confidentiality, healthcare surveys, public health, sexually transmitted diseases
Singapore Med J 2011; 52(7): 496-501