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Title: General practitioners' views on retaining Singapore's primary care doctors: a cross-sectional survey and qualitative analysis
Authors: Fang, Yang
Soljak, Michael
Tan, Shawn Lien Ler
Peckham, Stephen
Tan, Tze Lee
Smith, Helen Elizabeth
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Fang, Y., Soljak, M., Tan, S. L. L., Peckham, S., Tan, T. L. & Smith, H. E. (2022). General practitioners' views on retaining Singapore's primary care doctors: a cross-sectional survey and qualitative analysis. BMC Primary Care, 23(1), 168-.
Project: NMRC/ HSRG/0093/2018
Journal: BMC Primary Care
Abstract: Background: To support its ageing population and the increasing need for chronic care in the community, Singapore needs to boost the number of doctors in its primary care workforce. To better understand how to improve doctor retention and build a more robust primary care system, we conducted a cross-sectional survey with doctors in general practice and family medicine to explore their career satisfaction, their career plans, factors related to their plans to leave, and their view on retaining GPs in primary care. Methods: An anonymous online survey was distributed to general practitioners working in the public and private sectors. The survey contained questions on career satisfaction, career plans in the next 5 years, and factors important for retaining doctors in primary care. In addition, there were open-ended questions for respondents to elaborate on retention initiatives and other factors that may improve engagement among primary care doctors. Quantitative data was analyzed with descriptive statistics, principal component analysis, χ2 tests, t-tests, and Pearson’s correlations; qualitative data was analyzed thematically. Results: The survey was attempted by 355 general practitioners and completed in full by 303. The respondents were most satisfied with rapport with patients and their current professional role; they were least satisfied with the amount of paperwork and the status of general practice in society. In terms of their career plans in the next 5 years, 49/341 (14.4%) of the respondents plan to leave general practice permanently, 43/341 (12.6%) plan to take a career break, and 175/341 (51.3%) plan to reduce their clinical hours. Higher remuneration, recognizing general practice and family medicine as a medical specialty, and reducing the litigious pressures on medical practice were rated as the most important factors for retaining primary care. Free-text responses also revealed a growing dissatisfaction with the Third Party Administrators that manage insurance arrangements. Conclusion: While the proportion of doctors who intend to leave is smaller than that reported in overseas studies, our findings highlight an urgent need for targeted interventions to engage and retain primary care doctors. Increasing recognition and support for general practitioners and their professional practice may contribute to strengthening community care for the ageing population.
ISSN: 2731-4553
DOI: 10.1186/s12875-022-01774-z
Schools: Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) 
Rights: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativeco applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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