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The Supply of Physician Services in OECD Countries


  • Steven Simoens
  • Jeremy Hurst


The delivery of an appropriate quantity and quality of health care in an efficient way requires, among other things, matching the supply with the demand for the services of physicians, over time. Such matching has led to very different levels of physicians per million population across OECD countries – because of variations, among other things, in: morbidity and mortality, health expenditure as a share of GDP and the design of health systems. In addition, there are signs that a higher density of physicians is found in countries which have left the supply of physicians mainly to the market whereas lower density is found in countries which have planned the intake to medical schools centrally over many years... Pour qu'un système de santé puisse assurer de façon efficace un niveau de soins satisfaisant, en quantité comme en qualité, il faut, entre autres choses, que l'offre et la demande de médecins parviennent à s'équilibrer. De ce point de vue, et si l'on en juge d'après le nombre de médecins par million d'habitants, les pays de l'OCDE affichent une grande diversité, pour des raisons qui tiennent notamment à des différences dans les taux de morbidité et de mortalité, les dépenses de santé en proportion du PIB et la conception des systèmes de santé. En outre, il semble que la densité médicale soit plus élevée dans les pays qui ont pour l'essentiel laissé au marché le soin de réguler l'offre de médecins, et moins élevée dans ceux où l'accès aux études de médecine a longtemps été encadré à l'échelon national...

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Simoens & Jeremy Hurst, 2006. "The Supply of Physician Services in OECD Countries," OECD Health Working Papers 21, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaad:21-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Agnes Soucat & Richard Scheffler, 2013. "The Labor Market for Health Workers in Africa : New Look at the Crisis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13824.
    2. Janus, Katharina & Amelung, Volker Eric & Gaitanides, Michael & Schwartz, Friedrich Wilhelm, 2007. "German physicians "on strike"--Shedding light on the roots of physician dissatisfaction," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 357-365, August.
    3. Eric Delattre & Anne-Laure Samson, 2012. "Stratégies de localisation des médecins généralistes français : mécanismes économiques ou hédonistes ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 455(1), pages 115-142.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/9519 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Aalto, Anna-Mari & Heponiemi, Tarja & Väänänen, Ari & Bergbom, Barbara & Sinervo, Timo & Elovainio, Marko, 2014. "Is working in culturally diverse working environment associated with physicians’ work-related well-being? A cross-sectional survey study among Finnish physicians," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 187-194.
    6. Eric Delattre & Anne-Laure Samson, 2013. "Stratégies de localisation des médecins généralistes français : mécanismes économiques ou hédonistes ?," Post-Print hal-01685914, HAL.
    7. Johannessen, Karl-Arne & Hagen, Terje P., 2013. "Individual and hospital-specific factors influencing medical graduates' time to medical specialization," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 170-175.
    8. Dr. Sukhan Jackson & Kamalakanthan, Abhayaprada, 2006. "The Supply of Doctors in Australia: Is There A Shortage?," Discussion Papers Series 341, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    9. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11295 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Ciro Avitabile & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2008. "Screening Tests, Information, and the Health-Education Gradient," CSEF Working Papers 187, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 28 Apr 2008.
    11. Johannessen, Karl Arne & Kittelsen, Sverre A.C. & Hagen, Terje P., 2017. "Assessing physician productivity following Norwegian hospital reform: A panel and data envelopment analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 117-126.

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