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The Value of Socialized Medicine: The Impact of Universal Primary Healthcare Provision on Birth and Mortality Rates in Turkey

Author

Listed:
  • Cesur, Resul

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Güne?, P?nar Mine

    (University of Alberta)

  • Tekin, Erdal

    (American University)

  • Ulker, Aydogan

    (Deakin University)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of universal, free, and easily accessible primary healthcare on population health as measured by age-specific birth and mortality rates, focusing on a nationwide socialized medicine program implemented in Turkey. The Family Medicine Program (FMP), launched in 2005, assigns each Turkish citizen to a specific state-employed family physician, who offers a wide range of primary healthcare services that are free-of-charge. Furthermore, these services are provided at family health centers, which operate on a walk-in basis and are located within the neighborhoods in close proximity to the patients. To identify the causal impact of the FMP, we exploit the variation in its introduction across provinces and over time. Our estimates indicate that the FMP caused large declines in mortality rates across all age groups with more pronounced impacts among infants and the elderly, and a moderate reduction in the birth rates, primarily among teenagers. Furthermore, the results are suggestive that the program has also contributed towards equalization in the mortality disparities across provinces. Our findings highlight the importance of a nationwide supply-side intervention on improving public health.

Suggested Citation

  • Cesur, Resul & Güne?, P?nar Mine & Tekin, Erdal & Ulker, Aydogan, 2015. "The Value of Socialized Medicine: The Impact of Universal Primary Healthcare Provision on Birth and Mortality Rates in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 9329, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9329
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cesur, Resul & Tekin, Erdal & Ulker, Aydogan, 2018. "Can natural gas save lives? Evidence from the deployment of a fuel delivery system in a developing country," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 91-108.
    2. Oyvat, Cem & Tekgüç, Hasan, 2017. "Double squeeze on educational development: land inequality and ethnic conflict in Southeastern Turkey," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 16812, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    mortality; infant; Turkey; health; medicine; socialized; reform; healthcare; birth; teenager; physician;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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