CHARACTERISTICS OF MEDICAL DOCTORS WORKING IN PUBLIC HEALTHCARE INSTITUTIONS IN A SOUTHERN NIGERIAN STATE

Ikenna D. Ebuenyi, Peter O. Ikuabe , Chinyere U. Onubogu, Chukwunonso C. Ufondu, Ifeoma N. Onyeka

Available online Aug 14, 2019.

[ Original ] Volume 28, Issue 2, 2019, Pages 156-160


Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the characteristics of medical doctors working in public healthcare institutions and examined differences in some of the characteristics by geographical (urban versus rural) location.


METHODS: A cross-sectional study of doctors working in public healthcare institutions using data obtained from 3 centres in Bayelsa, Nigeria.


RESULTS: Three-quarters (75.4%) of the 280 medical doctors were males. Most of the doctors (68.6%) were working at tertiary healthcare level, 16.1% at primary and 15.4% at secondary healthcare levels. In terms of their professional
positions, there were more medical officers (34.5%) relative to the other cadres while 17.2% were consultants. When their places of practice were dichotomised into rural and urban settings, 88.2% were practising in urban settings. A higher proportion of the 69 female doctors were practising in urban settings compared to rural settings (26.7% versus 9.1% respectively, P=0.027). There was a statistically significant relationship between residency status and place of practice (P=0.001). Specialists (i.e. doctors who have completed residency training) were more likely to practice in urban (19.2%) than in rural settings (3.3%).


CONCLUSION: Only a quarter of doctors in this study were females. There seemed to be more doctors at tertiary level of care and in urban areas. These findings suggest that there may be a shortage of female doctors, and that there may be unmet personnel needs at primary and secondary healthcare levels and in rural areas.


Keywords

Health services, Human resources for heath, Health workforce, Geographical Distribution, Medical Doctors.,