What is it about?

This study explores why specialist doctors choose to stay or leave their placement areas in Indonesia. By interviewing specialist doctors, health offices, and organizations across eight provinces, the research identifies key factors influencing their retention. It finds that factors like geographic location, incentives, infrastructure, and career opportunities play crucial roles. Recommendations include fulfilling local commitments, providing incentives, and improving infrastructure to retain specialist doctors and ensure better healthcare services in communities.

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Why is it important?

As Indonesia strives to enhance its healthcare services by deploying specialist doctors to regional hospitals, understanding the factors influencing their retention is vital. This study offers valuable insights into the contextual nuances affecting specialist doctors' decisions, providing actionable recommendations for policymakers and healthcare stakeholders. By addressing these factors, the retention of specialist doctors can be improved, ultimately contributing to the sustainability and effectiveness of Indonesia's healthcare system.


As a healthcare professional, I recognize the critical role of specialist doctors in providing quality healthcare services, particularly in underserved areas. This study sheds light on the complex interplay of factors influencing their retention, offering practical recommendations to enhance workforce sustainability and healthcare delivery. By addressing contextual challenges and strengthening collaboration between local and central governments, we can create an enabling environment for specialist doctors to thrive and contribute effectively to community health. This research serves as a timely reminder of the importance of retaining healthcare professionals in regional settings, ultimately improving health outcomes and promoting equitable access to care.

Mr Ferry Efendi
Universitas Airlangga

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Factors influencing the retention of specialist doctors in the placement area: realist evaluation approach in the specialist doctor utilization program, Rural and Remote Health, April 2023, Rural and Remote Health,
DOI: 10.22605/rrh7610.
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