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Hum Resour Health. 2013 Aug 21;11:40. doi: 10.1186/1478-4491-11-40.

What interventions do rural doctors think will increase recruitment in rural areas: a survey of 2778 health workers in Beijing.

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  • 1Beijing Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood Vessel Diseases, Capital Medical University Beijing Anzhen Hospital, No 2 Road Anzhen, Beijing, Chaoyang District, PR China.



A shortage of health professionals in rural areas is a major problem facing China, as more than 60% of the population lives in such areas. Strategies have been developed by the government to improve the recruitment of rural doctors. However, the inequitable distribution of doctors working in China has not improved significantly. The objective of this study was to explore the reasons for the poor recruitment and to propose possible strategies to improve the situation.


Between September 2009 and November 2009 data were collected from 2778 rural doctors in Beijing, China. A quantitative survey was used to explore health workers' perceptions as to what factors would have the greatest impact on recruitment and whether access to training had been effective in increasing their confidence, enhancing their interest in practicing medicine and increasing their commitment to recruitment.


Rural doctors were generally older than average in China. Of the 2778 participants, only 7.23% had obtained a license as a qualified doctor. For 53% of the rural doctors, the job was part-time work. The survey showed that rural doctors considered the training strategy to be inadequate. In general, the initiatives identified by rural doctors as being of most value in the recruitment of doctors were those targeting retirement pension and income.


From the perspective of rural doctors, specific initiatives that promised a secure retirement pension and an increased income were considered most likely to assist in the recruitment of rural doctors in Beijing.

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