The factors that attract healthcare professionals to and retain them in rural areas in South Africa

  • Rose A
  • van Rensburg-Bonthuyzen E
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Background: Attracting healthcare professionals (HCPs) to rural areas and retaining them there remains a challenge. Current retention strategies focus on the factors that cause people to leave rural areas, but these strategies continue to fail to retain HCPs in these areas, and the situation in which there is a lack of quality and inadequacy of the type of health services is perpetuated. The literature describes factors that attract healthcare workers to work in rural areas, and this study contributes to a deeper understanding of this.Method: This was a qualitative study in which in-depth interviews and focus groups were used, together with an appreciative inquiry approach. Fourteen participants were purposively selected for the study. Data were coded and the themes extracted and critically analysed by two researchers. Ethics clearance was obtained from the University of the Free State.Results: Intrinsic themes included having a “calling” to work in an area, team work and community affiliation. Extrinsic ...

Author-supplied keywords

  • Appreciative inquiry
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Human resources for health
  • Retention
  • Rural health

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  • A. Rose

  • E. Janse van Rensburg-Bonthuyzen

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