Impact of the attrition of health care professionals on Zambia's health care delivery system : the case of the University Teaching Hospital (UTH)
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Despite the availability of data and information on the severity of attrition, the problem was the absence of satisfactory researched material on how the attrition of the healthcare professionals had impacted on the delivery of Zambia's public healthcare system. The general objective of the study was to assess the impact of the attrition of the healthcare professionals on the delivery of the public healthcare system in Zambia. The research targeted healthcare professionals, management officials, and the patients at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). Convenience Sampling was used in the selecting the sample of respondents. The research findings show that attrition of the healthcare professionals has had a negative impact on the delivery of the public healthcare system in Zambia.Due to attrition, the efficiency, and effectiveness of the public healthcare system in Zambia, has reduced. The reduction in the efficiency of the delivery of the public healthcare has been measured through the existence at the UTH of factors that tend to prevent quality inputs into healthcare delivery. These include the increased use of inappropriate healthcare professionals, inadequate time spent on patients by the healthcare professionals due to work overload, and the closure of some important units and subunits at the institution. Effectiveness has been measured in terms of the quality of health outputs the UTH supplies to the patients. The reduction in the effectiveness of the healthcare system at the institution has been hall-marked by the poor response to treatment among the majority of the patients, reduced access to appropriate treatment owing to the closure of some units and subunits where healthcare professionals had left, poor attitude of healthcare professionals towards patients, and the increased death rate among the patients seeking treatment fi-om the institution. In line with the general objwtive of the study, the general conclusion is that the high attrition rate of the healthcare professionals has resulted in poor healthcare delivery of the public healthcare system in Zambia.