Health worker (internal customer) satisfaction and motivation in the public sector in Ghana
This paper describes factors affecting health worker motivation and satisfaction in the public sector in Ghana. The data are from a survey of public sector health care providers carried out in January 2002 and repeated in August 2003 using an interviewer administered structured questionnaire. It is part of a continuous quality improvement (CQI) effort in the health sector in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. Workplace obstacles identified that caused dissatisfaction and de-motivated staff in order of the most frequently mentioned were low salaries such that obtaining basic necessities of daily living becomes a problem; lack of essential equipment, tools and supplies to work with; delayed promotions; difficulties and inconveniences with transportation to work; staff shortages; housing, additional duty allowances and in-service (continuous) training. Others included children's education, vehicles to work with such as ambulances and pickups, staff transfer procedures, staff pre-service education inadequate for job requirements, and the effect of the job on family and other social factors. There were some differences in the percentages of staff selecting a given workplace obstacle between the purely rural districts, the highly urbanized Accra metropolis and the districts that were a mixture of urbanized and rural. It is unlikely that the Ghana Health Service can provide high quality of care to its end users (external customers) if workplace obstacles that de-motivate staff (internal customers) and negatively influence their performance are not properly recognized and addressed as a complex of inter-related problems producing a common result--dissatisfied poorly motivated staff and resulting poor quality services.