Satisfaction and turnover intention of physicians and public health officers in government health facilities: a national cross-sectional study

  • Girma Temam
  • Jos vas Roosmalen ), Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit
  • Jelle Stekelenburg Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Leeuwarden Medical Centre, Leeuwarden; and Department of Health Sciences, Global Health, University Medical Centre Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen,
  • Young-Mi Kim Jhpiego, Baltimore
  • Shelemo Shawula
  • Damtew Woldemariam Jhpiego
  • Eshete Yilma



To assess job satisfaction and turnover intention of physicians and public health officers in government health facilities.


A national cross-sectional study was conducted in 2014 involving 375 physicians and 127 health officers working in government health facilities selected randomly from the nine regional states and two city administrations. Data were collected using a face-to-face interview. The main variables of interest were satisfaction with job, working and living conditions, intention to leave and factors associated with a decision to leave. In addition to descriptive analysis, multivariable logistic regression analysis was done to identify factors associated with job satisfaction and turnover intention.


Considering everything, only 39.2% of physicians and 48.8% of health officers were satisfied with their job. Moreover, 47.5% of physicians and 61.4% of health officers said they planned to leave their job within one year. Low pay, poor access to higher education, and limited opportunities for promotion were ranked as the three most important reasons for a decision to leave. The odds of job satisfaction was higher among health officers than physicians. It was also higher among respondents who perceived facility management & leadership, salary & benefits, and recognition by the community more favorably. The likelihood of intention to leave was lower among respondents with more positive perception of facility management & leadership and their own living conditions.


The level of dissatisfaction and turnover intention among physicians and health officers is considerable driven largely by poor leadership & management, salary, and living conditions.

Author Biography

Deputy Chief of Party, Strengthening Human Resources for Health Project, Jhpiego Ethiopia


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