For public service or money: understanding geographical imbalances in the health workforce

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Geographical imbalances in the health workforce have been a consistent feature of nearly all health systems, and especially in developing countries. In this paper we investigate the willingness to work in a rural area among final year nursing and medical students in Ethiopia. Analysing data obtained from contingent valuation questions for final year students from three medical schools and eight nursing schools, we find that there is substantial heterogeneity in the willingness to serve in rural areas. Using both ordinary least squares and maximum likelihood regression analysis, we find that household consumption and the student's motivation to help the poor are the main determinants of willingness to work in a rural area. We carry out a simulation on how much it would cost to get a target proportion of health workers to take up a rural post.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-138
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Policy and Planning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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