Health workforce acquisition, retention and turnover in southwest Ethiopian health institutions
Background: Skill mix of health professionals, staff acquisition and turnover rate are among the major challenges for the delivery of quality health care. This study assessed the health workforce acquisition, retention, turnover rate and their intention to leave.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey with quantitative and qualitative data collection methods was conducted in Jimma Zone health institutions. Five years records (September 2009-August 2014) were reviewed to determine the turnover rate. A total of 367 health professionals were included for the quantitative study. For the qualitaive study, all available and relevant health managers and administrative records in the selected health institutions were included. Descriptive and inferential analyses were done for the quantitative study. Thematic analysis was used for the qualitative component.
Results: A total of 367 health workers were incorporated for the quantitative study making a response rate of 87%. The overall health workers’ satisfaction was neutral (mean 3.3). In five years period, 45.9% staffs had left for a cause; 59.4% health professionals intended to leave. Being male (AOR =1.6, 95%CI: 1.001-2.5), not knowing their overall satisfaction (AOR=0.5, 95%CI: 0.2-0.8), below mean score of institutional satisfaction (AOR =1.7, 95%CI: 1.06-2.7) and below mean score of organizational satisfaction (AOR=1.8, 95%CI: 1.08-2.8) were independent predictors for intention to leave.
Conclusions: The overall health workers’ satisfaction was marginally neutral. A considerable number of staffs had left, and more than half of the current staffs had an intention to leave. Thus, it is recommended that the responsible authorities should design strategies to improve the situation.
Keywords: Health workforce, acquisition, retention, turnover, Ethiopia