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Dedicated Doctors: Public and Private Provision of Health Care with Altruistic Physicians

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Author Info

  • Josse Delfgaauw

    ()
    (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

Abstract

Physicians are supposed to serve patients' interests, but some are more inclined to do so than others. This paper studies how the system of health care provision affects the allocation of patients to physicians when physicians differ in altruism. We show that allowing for private provision of health care, parallel to (free) treatment in a National Health Service, benefits all patients. It enables rich patients to obtain higher quality treatment in the private sector. Because the altruistic physicians infer that in their absence, NHS patients receive lower treatment quality than private sector patients, they optimally decide to work in the NHS. Hence, after allowing for private provision, the remaining (relatively poor) NHS patients are more likely to receive the superior treatment provided by altruistic physicians. We also show, however, that allowing physicians to moonlight, i.e. to operate in both the NHS and the private sector simultaneously, nullifies part of these beneficial effects for the poorest patients.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 07-010/1.

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Date of creation: 19 Jan 2007
Date of revision: 17 Sep 2007
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20070010

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: Altruism; Health care systems; Subsidy; Moonlighting;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marie Allard & Izabela Jelovac & Pierre-Thomas Léger, 2011. "Treatment and referral decisions under different physician payment mechanisms," Post-Print halshs-00650933, HAL.
  2. J. Michelle Brock & Andreas Lange & Kenneth L. Leonard, 2012. "Generosity norms and intrinsic motivation in health care provision: evidence from the laboratory and the field," Working Papers 147, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  3. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino, 2008. "Occupational Mismatch and Moonlighting among Spanish Physicians: Do Couples Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 3419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Paula González & Inés Macho-Stadler, 2011. "A Theoretical Approach to Dual Practice Regulations in the Health Sector," Working Papers 11.01, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  5. Godager, Geir & Wiesen, Daniel, 2011. "Profit or Patients' Health Benefit? Exploring the Heterogeneity in Physician Altruism," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2011:7, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.

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