n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Assessment of the effectiveness of rural allowances as a strategy for recruiting and retaining health professionals in rural public hospitals in the North West Province, South Africa of health care services - : management of health care services

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Rural healthcare facilities have a problem of recruiting and retaining healthcare personnel in their institutions. Although rural allowance for healthcare professionals has been introduced, this has not significantly improved the situation in most health facilities in Bophirima Health District, North-West Province. There is paucity of data on the reason for this situation. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of a rural allowance in recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals to rural health facilities in Bophirima Health District. A quantitative descriptive survey was conducted amongst 167 health professionals working in the five district hospitals in the Bophirima Health District (BHD). The sample comprised 32 medical officers, 13 pharmacists, 2 physiotherapists, 1 psychologist, 105 professional nurses, 7 radiographers, 2 dieticians and 5 participants from an unclassified group. Data were collected with a structured self-administered anonymous questionnaire and document review. Results showed that the major recruiting and retention incentives included increased specialist support, increasing rural allowance by 30-50%, provision of adequate medical equipment, adequate accommodation, opportunity for promotion, adequate schooling facilities for children, and bursaries for children. It was evident that rural allowance alone is not sufficient to recruit and retain health professionals in the rural healthcare facility areas of Bophirima Health District. Other factors such as recreational facilities, salary review, improved working conditions and provision of modern medical equipment, provision of work opportunities for spouses and education for the professionals' children are mandatory motivational factors.

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