To improve the efficiency of the use of medical resources, China has implemented medical alliances (MAs) to implement a hierarchical diagnosis and treatment system. The willingness to undertake a first visit to primary care institutions (PCIs) is an important indicator of the effect of this system. Beijing has also built MAs since 2013, but to date, there have been few studies on the first visit to PCIs in Beijing. The purpose of this study is to analyze patients’ willingness to make their first visit to PCIs and its influencing factors to provide references for the realization of a hierarchical diagnosis and treatment system.
Two relatively different districts with large differences in resources in Beijing, D and F, were selected, and a self-reported questionnaire and convenience sampling method were applied. A cross-sectional survey was administered to 1221 patients of MAs. The chi-square test and binary logistic regression were used to analyze the influencing factors of patients’ willingness to undertake a first visit to a PCI.
Fewer patients in District D received medical alliance services (44.42%) than those in District F (59.25%), but patients in District D had a higher degree of satisfaction with the services they received (72.04%) than those in District F (28.96%). Patients in District D had a higher willingness to undertake a first visit (64.00%) than those in District F (58.18%). Patients of an older age, low medical expenses, participation in urban employees’ basic medical insurance, a high understanding of MAs and high satisfaction with medical services were indicators of being more willing to choose primary care institutions for their first visit.
The different medical resources and MA constructions in the two districts have resulted in a difference between the two districts in terms of the willingness of individuals to make their first visit to PCIs. Strengthening the service capabilities of PCIs remains a priority. The government should propose solutions to solve the problems encountered in practice and actively promote the realization of MAs and hierarchical diagnosis and treatment.