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Arch Hellen Med, 31(1), January-February 2014, 48-54


Health services staffing with physicians in the remote areas: Recruitment and retention incentives

V. Vardiampasis,1 M. Tsironi,2 A. Nikolentzos,2 I. Moisoglou,3
P. Galanis,4 H. Stavropoulou,1 G. Athanasopoulou,5 P. Prezerakos2

1Rural Surgery of Lebidi, General Hospital of Tripoli, Tripoli,
2Faculty of Nursing, University of the Peloponnese, Sparta,
3Hemodialysis Unit, General Hospital of Lamia, Lamia,
4Faculty of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
5Rural Surgery of Scala, General Hospital of Sparta, Sparta, Greece

OBJECTIVE To investigate the opinions of specialist physicians about the staffing of the health services in remote areas with physicians and recruitment and retention incentives in these services.

METHOD A cross sectional study was conducted. The study population consisted of the physicians working in hospitals, hospitals-health centers and health centers of the Peloponnese district. Of the 256 questionnaires that were sent, 194 were returned completed (response rate 75.6%).

RESULTS The majority of participants (97.4%) considered that there is deficient medical staffing of the remote health services. Effective incentives to confront this deficiency were considered to be: preference for the specific healthcare organization (36.1%), monetary incentives (48.5%), career development (35.6%) and educational incentives (16.5%). The effectiveness of the legislated incentives was rated by 66% of participants as poor, by 28.4% as moderate and by 5.7% as good. The quality of life in the rural areas and recognition by the local population (52%), rural background (32.5%) and monetary incentives (23.2%) were factors that had influenced the recruitment of physicians to work in their current healthcare organizations. The good relationships with the local population (38.7%), the interest of the work (31.4%) and the work environment (26.3%) were the three most important factors influencing the physicians' continuation in their current healthcare organizations. The only characteristic that correlated with physician satisfaction was the specialty (p=0.02) and specifically physicians with a laboratory specialty indicated greater satisfaction than others.

CONCLUSIONS The provision of incentives constitutes a catalytic factor in the recruitment and retention of physicians in remote areas. Although the current legislation includes incentives, their revision and renewal are considered necessary within the framework of a health policy for health services staffing of remote areas.

Key words: Health services, Incentives, Physicians, Recruitment, Remote areas.

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