|A Ross, S Reid|
|South African Family Practice, 2009|
"Community service (CS) is an effective recruitment strategy for underserved areas, using legislation as the driver; however, it is not a retention strategy. By the end of each year, most CS officers working in district hospitals (DHs) are skilled, valued and valuable members of the health team, able to cope with the demands of working in the public health service within the resources available at DHs. Their exodus at the end of each annual cycle represents a net loss of valuable skills and experience by the public service, measured by the time and effort required to orientate and induct the following cohort of CS officers. This in turn has a negative effect on the level of service delivery and the quality of patient care. This study sought to gain understanding of the motivations of CS officers to continue working at the same DH for a subsequent year after their obligatory year was over. The objectives were to determine the number of CS officers who actually remained at the same DH after completing their CS in 2002, the major factors that influenced them to remain and factors that would encourage the 2003 cohort of CS officers to remain at the same DH for an additional year."