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Soc Sci Med. 2014 Nov;121:56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.053. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

Retaining rural doctors: doctors' preferences for rural medical workforce incentives.

Author information

1
Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address: jinhu.li@unimelb.edu.au.
2
Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Australia.
3
School of Rural Health, Monash University, Australia.
4
Department of Economics, University of Manitoba, Canada.

Abstract

Many governments have implemented incentive programs to improve the retention of doctors in rural areas despite a lack of evidence of their effectiveness. This study examines rural general practitioners' (GPs') preferences for different types of retention incentive policies using a discrete choice experiment (DCE). In 2009, the DCE was administered to a group of 1720 rural GPs as part of the "Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL)" study. We estimate both a mixed logit model and a generalized multinomial logit model to account for different types of unobserved differences in GPs' preferences. Our results indicate that increased level of locum relief incentive, retention payments and rural skills loading leads to an increase in the probability of attracting GPs to stay in rural practice. The locum relief incentive is ranked as the most effective, followed by the retention payments and rural skills loading payments. These findings are important in helping to tailor retention policies to those that are most effective.

KEYWORDS:

Australia; Discrete choice experiment; Incentives; Physicians; Retention; Rural

PMID:
25306410
DOI:
10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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