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Hours worked by general practitioners and waiting times for primary care

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  • Megha Swami
  • Hugh Gravelle
  • Anthony Scott
  • Jenny Williams

Abstract

The decline in the working hours of general practitioners (GPs) is a key factor influencing access to health care in many countries. We investigate the effect of changes in hours worked by GPs on waiting times in primary care using the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life longitudinal survey of Australian doctors. We estimate GP fixed effects models for waiting time and use family circumstances to instrument for GP's hours worked. We find that a 10% reduction in hours worked increases average patient waiting time by 12%. Our findings highlight the importance of GPs' labor supply at the intensive margin in determining the length of time patients must wait to see their doctor.

Suggested Citation

  • Megha Swami & Hugh Gravelle & Anthony Scott & Jenny Williams, 2018. "Hours worked by general practitioners and waiting times for primary care," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(10), pages 1513-1532, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:27:y:2018:i:10:p:1513-1532
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3782
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    2. Swami, Megha & Scott, Anthony, 2021. "Impact of rural workforce incentives on access to GP services in underserved areas: Evidence from a natural experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 281(C).
    3. Epstein, D.S. & Barton, C. & Mazza, D. & Woode, M.E. & Mortimer, D., 2020. "Patient chosen gap payments in primary care: Predictions of patient acceptability, uptake and willingness to pay from a discrete choice experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 263(C).

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