Workforce retention in rural and remote Australia

Objectives: To ascertain which factors are most significant in a general practitioner’s decision to stay in rural practice and whether these retention factors vary in importance according to the geographical location of the practice and GP characteristics.

Results: Rural doctors consistently ranked on-call arrangements, professional support and variety of rural practice as the top three issues, followed by local availability of services and geographical attractiveness.
Proximity to a city or large regional centre was the least important factor.
Retention factors varied according to geographical location and GPs’ age, sex, family status, length of time in the practice, and hospital duties.

Conclusions: A broad, integrated rural retention strategy is required to address on-call arrangements, provide professional support and ensure adequate time off for continuing medical education and recreation

Read more at: Workforce retention in rural and remote Australia – determining factors that influence length of practice (Humphreys et al 2002)