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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Global Health Action
Title Are health workers motivated by income? Job motivation of Cambodian primary health workers implementing performance-based financing
Volume 2016
Issue 9
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL http://www.globalhealthaction.net/index.php/gha/article/view/31068
Background: Financial incentives are widely used in performance-based financing (PBF) schemes, but their contribution to health workers’ incomes and job motivation is poorly understood. Cambodia undertook health sector reform from the middle of 2009 and PBF was employed as a part of the reform process.

Objective: This study examines job motivation for primary health workers (PHWs) under PBF reform in Cambodia and assesses the relationship between job motivation and income.

Design: A cross-sectional self-administered survey was conducted on 266 PHWs, from 54 health centers in the 15 districts involved in the reform. The health workers were asked to report all sources of income from public sector jobs and provide answers to 20 items related to job motivation. Factor analysis was conducted to identify the latent variables of job motivation. Factors associated with motivation were identified through multivariable regression.

Results: PHWs reported multiple sources of income and an average total income of US$190 per month. Financial incentives under the PBF scheme account for 42% of the average total income. PHWs had an index motivation score of 4.9 (on a scale from one to six), suggesting they had generally high job motivation that was related to a sense of community service, respect, and job benefits. Regression analysis indicated that income and the perception of a fair distribution of incentives were both statistically significant in association with higher job motivation scores.

Conclusions: Financial incentives used in the reform formed a significant part of health workers’ income and influenced their job motivation. Improving job motivation requires fixing payment mechanisms and increasing the size of incentives. PBF is more likely to succeed when income, training needs, and the desire for a sense of community service are addressed and institutionalized within the health system.

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