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Regional dispersion of independent professionals in primary health care in the Netherlands


  • Hingstman, L.
  • Boon, H.


One of the main objectives of Dutch Government policy on primary health care concerns equal regional dispersion of health care provisions. At this moment these provisions are geographically not equally distributed when measured in terms of the number of inhabitants per practising professional in primary health care. In this paper the current patterns of dispersion of five professional groups are described. The groups concerned are the general practitioners, dentists, physiotherapists, pharmacists and midwives. These patterns are mainly a consequence of market forces because the professionals have had the freedom to choose where to practise their profession until recently. These decisions are affected by the "place utility" of an area. In this paper place utility is conceived as being determinated by the opportunities of an area to earn a living and the amenities of an area as residential and living-environment. These concepts are operationalized by a set of independent variables. In order to understand the (differences between the) patterns of dispersion of the professional groups concerned multiple regression-analysis has been used, of which the results are compared to the hypotheses formulated.

Suggested Citation

  • Hingstman, L. & Boon, H., 1989. "Regional dispersion of independent professionals in primary health care in the Netherlands," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 121-129, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:28:y:1989:i:2:p:121-129

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Temin, Peter, 1983. "Costs and benefits in switching drugs from Rx to OTC," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 187-205, December.
    2. Foster, S. D., 1990. "Improving the supply and use of essential drugs in sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 456, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Masayoshi Hayashi & Akiko Oyama, "undated". "Factor decomposition of inter-prefectural health care expenditure disparities in Japan," Discussion papers ron264, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan.
    2. Kuhn, Michael & Ochsen, Carsten, 2009. "Demographic and geographic determinants of regional physician supply," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 105, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    3. Vogt, Verena, 2016. "The contribution of locational factors to regional variations in office-based physicians in Germany," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 198-204.
    4. Heikkilä, Teppo Juhani & Hyppölä, Harri & Aine, Tiina & Halila, Hannu & Vänskä, Jukka & Kujala, Santero & Virjo, Irma & Mattila, Kari, 2014. "How do doctors choose where they want to work? – Motives for choice of current workplace among physicians registered in Finland 1977–2006," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 109-117.


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