Background: Developing countries are facing acute shortage of human resource in rural/remote areas. Effective management and retention of human resource for health are related to efficient financing and lucrative incentives packages. This study focused on preferred incentives of doctors for working in rural and resource constrained areas of Pakistan.
Methods: This study was a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE). Study population (N=107) included final year medical student and fresh graduated doctors in Islamabad. Questionnaire was computer based and data was collected through online database. Results were analyzed using conjoint analysis technique on Stata 11.0 to present the findings.
Results: The results showed that mostly young doctors do not prefer to work in rural areas. Preference to opt for rural job posting depended largely on high salary along with study assistance for further education. Other attributes identified as attracting and retaining young doctors for rural job posting included career advancement, improved quality of health facilities, provision of housing allowance and transportation.
Conclusion: Study results showed that salary is not the only deciding factor for attracting and retaining health workforce in rural areas. Further education for highly valued and the government should focus on efficient use of available budget to develop a bundle of cadre specific incentives package to attract and retain HR in rural and underserved areas.
Sana Azmat Rana