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The interaction between patient shortage and patients waiting time


  • Iversen, Tor

    () (Institute of Health Management and Health Economics)

  • Lurås, Hilde

    (Institute of Health Management and Health Economics)


We study the interaction between patient shortage and patients' waiting time to get an appointment. From a theoretical model we predict that physicians experiencing a shortage of patients offer their patients a shorter waiting time than their unconstrained colleagues. This happens because a shorter waiting time is expected to lower the threshold for seeking care, and hence, to increase the number of patient-initiated contacts. But it also happens because a shorter waiting time can be a mean to attract new patients. The hypotheses are supported by some preliminary results from a sample of Norwegian general practitioners participating in a capitation trial.

Suggested Citation

  • Iversen, Tor & Lurås, Hilde, 2009. "The interaction between patient shortage and patients waiting time," HERO On line Working Paper Series 1999:2, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:oslohe:1999_002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kathryn M. Langwell, 1982. "Factors Affecting the Incomes of Men and Women Physicians: Further Explorations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(2), pages 261-275.
    2. Sloan, Frank A & Lorant, John H, 1977. "The Role of Waiting Time: Evidence from Physicians' Practices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(4), pages 486-507, October.
    3. Mueller, Curt D, 1985. "Waiting for Physicians' Services: Model and Evidence," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 173-190, April.
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    More about this item


    General practitioner; patient shortage; waiting time;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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