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Open AccessArticle

What Are the Challenges Faced by Village Doctors in Provision of Basic Public Health Services in Shandong, China? A Qualitative Study

by 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2 and Jian Wang 1,2,*
1
School of Health Care Management, Shandong University, 44 Wenhuaxi Road, Li Xia District, Jinan 250012, China
2
NHC Key Laboratory of Health Economics and Policy Research, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142519
Received: 28 April 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Health Workforce)
Background: Village doctors, as gatekeepers for the health of rural residents in China, are confronted with adversity in providing the basic public health services (BPHS), which has significantly impeded them from providing high quality BPHS. This study aimed to explore the obstacles and difficulties faced by village doctors in order to improve the quality and efficiency of BPHS provision and increase the health level of the population. Methods: In-depth interviews were employed to conduct this qualitative study. A total of 51 village doctors in four cities of Shandong Province were interviewed. The interviews were transcribed, anonymized, and imported into NVivo11.0 to facilitate management. Thematic framework analysis employing the constant comparison method was applied to the data analysis. Results: The main challenges faced by village doctors comprised the shortage, gender imbalance, and poor education of village doctors; older village doctors in some villages; low income; lack of social security; inappropriate performance assessment; inadequate professional BPHS training; heavy workload; and insufficient cooperation from rural residents, which have exacerbated the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of BPHS to some extent. Conclusions: Village doctors, as the important BPHS providers in rural Shandong, are facing a wide range of challenges. It is urgent for government officials and policy makers to consider these challenges and concentrate on improving the quality of BPHS provision by developing relevant and practical strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: basic public health services; village doctors; challenges; China basic public health services; village doctors; challenges; China
MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Q.; Kong, Y.; Sun, J.; Zhang, Y.; Yuan, L.; Wang, J. What Are the Challenges Faced by Village Doctors in Provision of Basic Public Health Services in Shandong, China? A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2519.

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