The voice of patients in Israel's general hospitals

Keren Semyonov-Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to capture the variety of issues that concern patients and to examine the extent to which personal characteristics of patients, such as education, ethnicity, age, gender and conditions of hospitalisation, influence the tendency to “express (negative) voice” and raise “critical views”. Design/methodology/approach: Using data obtained from the 2014 Survey of Health Satisfaction in Israel, the study focuses on patients' responses to an open-ended question regarding the medical care experience in hospitals. Findings: The analysis reveals that “the voice of patients” spreads across a wide variety of issues, including the physical condition of the hospital and caregiver behaviour. Multivariate regression models show that subgroups with greater access to social and economic resources (i.e. in Israel, individuals who are Jewish), academics, women and younger patients are more likely to express critical voice regarding the hospitalisation experience. Likewise, inferior hospitalisation conditions are likely to increase expression of negative “voice” and criticism. Originality/value: The findings underscore the importance and value of open-ended questions in evaluating healthcare satisfaction, suggesting that the likelihood of expressing critical voice is higher among patients of high socio-economic status – perhaps because they are more likely to expect, demand and feel entitled to high-quality care. Likewise, inferior hospitalisation conditions increase the critical voice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Patient complaints
  • Patient voice
  • Public health service


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