Health Systems and Policy Research

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Factors Impact on Turnover of Physicians in Rural Jordan

Khatatbeh M, Alkhaldi S, Al-Omari O, Khader Y

Aim: The high turnover of physicians in rural areas of Jordan has adversely affected the provision of primary health care services. This study was undertaken to understand the reasons for this high turnover and to inform health policy makers to formulate more effective strategies assist in retention of physicians in rural Jordan. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional design was chosen for the study. Data was gathered using self-administered questionnaire composed of a 98-Likert scale questions. A total of 307 completed questionnaires were elicited in this survey. Data were analysed using SPSS (version 19). Results: Intention-to-leave was used as an indicator of turnover. The overall intention to leave rural practice among the employed rural physicians in Jordan was 29.3%. Factors found to be associated with intention to leave rural practice in the Jordanian rural context included physicians’ age, appointment by Ministry of Health, daily travel time, working more than 40 hours in the week, satisfaction about referral policy, satisfaction about manager encouragement of professional development, satisfaction about educational and training opportunities, feeling of social isolation, and satisfaction about level of education of patients. Conclusion: Physicians in rural Jordan are dissatisfied with a large number of personal, organizational, work related and socio-cultural factors. These factors could lead to turnover and, therefore, impeding the quality of health services offered to rural communities.