Most rural areas around the country lack the number of doctors available to serve the people at their local health centers.
President for Rural Doctors, Dr Kiaufuli Hongande said that there are a number of factors that affect recruiting and retaining a doctor in the rural areas.
There are 4 factors that will act as pull factors to for rural doctors;
• Professional Development Opportunities – Provide opportunities for rural doctors to further their studies.
• Good Financial Incentives – Added bonus that will help maintain rural doctors
• Deep Satisfaction – The feeling of being appreciated, respected by the community
• Social Amenities – Access to good housing, banks, schools etc
“When rural doctors are taken care off well, they stay in the rural areas.”
“There are also other factors such as the heart or a religious conviction to go serve in the rural areas.”
“When people have good doctors in their areas, people must nurture them and take care of them.”
He added that people that are sent to work in the rural areas must have the passion to serve the people.
He further added that Managers must be fair and treat their employees well.
The Minister for Health & HIV/AIDS, Dr Lino Tom said that rural doctors must not forget their humble beginnings, noting that a bulk of the health work in country is done by rural doctors.
“After training mi bin go bek na wok long ol rural health facilities wankain olsem yupla so ol problem wea yupla wok long toktok long em, mi klia stret (After training I went back and worked at rural health facilities like you so I know about the problems that you are facing).”
He said that rural doctors are the real heroes in the country by delivering quality health services with hardly any facilities available to them.
“I want to thank the prime minister for increasing the health budget and giving us K121million for the health workforce.”
In terms of workforce in the rural areas, Dr Lino said they are doing a workforce audit.
They are also doing infrastructure audit to see where who is working, what facilities they have and how they are providing health care