Arab expats and Qatari nationals living here tend to be more satisfied with the country’s public services than western foreigners based in Qatar, a new survey has found.
According to the research, which was conducted by the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) at Qatar University, the nation’s water and electricity utilities were given high marks by all nationalities.
More people were also happier with Qatar’s healthcare services and cultural activities than with the country’s infrastructure and schools.
Researchers said the findings are important because residents who say they’re satisfied with public services tend to also report a higher quality of life.
Qatar has previously scored poorly in international indexes measuring quality of life.
SESRI also pointed out that Qatar has increased spending on various public services in recent years.
However, no thorough assessment of residents’ actual experiences and satisfaction levels have been taken to measure the impact of that spending.
The survey also comes as the government reduces spending to cope with falling revenues from low oil prices.
This has led to funding cuts and layoffs at many publicly funded institutions including Hamad Medical Corp., which has terminated the contracts of hundreds of employees and prompted concerns about the quality of healthcare in the state.
Men more dissatisfied
SESRI researchers collected their data last September by surveying “nationally representative” groups of 769 Qataris and 762 non-Qataris about their use and perceptions of seven different public services: healthcare, K-12 education, university education, roads and infrastructure, electricity and water, cultural activities and government administration.
Respondents rated their overall satisfaction with each service on a scale from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest).
Arab expats were the most likely to report being satisfied with public services, followed by Qataris and expats from Latin America, south Asia and east Asia. Western expat were the most likely to report being unsatisfied.
SESRI said men and respondents with higher education levels were more likely to offer a negative assessment. However, there appeared to be no connection between a resident’s age or income level and their rating.
Meanwhile, those who actually use the country’s public services were likely to rank them more highly.
This suggests that increased interaction with government programs may boost satisfaction, SESRI suggested.
Or alternatively, it could mean that those people who already hold positive views of certain services, such as cultural activities, are more inclined to use them.
How would you rate Qatar’s public services? Thoughts?