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Understanding healthcare provider absenteeism in Kenya: a qualitative analysis.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Healthcare worker absenteeism is common in resource limited settings and contributes to poor quality of care in maternal and child health service delivery. There is a dearth of qualitative information on the scope, contributing factors, and impact of absenteeism in Kenyan healthcare facilities. METHODS:In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted between July 2015 and June 2016 with 20 healthcare providers in public and private healthcare facilities in Central and Western Kenya. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed using an iterative thematic approach. RESULTS:Half of providers reported that absenteeism occurs in both private and public health facilities. Absenteeism was most commonly characterized by providers arriving late or leaving early during scheduled work hours. The practice was attributed to institutional issues including: infrequent supervision, lack of professional consequences, limited accountability, and low wages. In some cases, healthcare workers were frequently absent because they held multiple positions at different health facilities. Provider absences result in increased patient wait times and may deter patients from seeking healthcare in the future. CONCLUSION:There is a significant need for policies and programs to reduce provider absenteeism in Kenya. Intervention approaches must be cognizant of the contributors to absenteeism which occur at the institutional level.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6740012 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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