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Geographic Imbalances in Doctor Supply and Policy Responses


  • Tomoko Ono


  • Michael Schoenstein


  • James Buchan

    (Queen Margaret University)


Doctors are distributed unequally across different regions in virtually all OECD countries, and this causes concern about how to continue to ensure access to health services everywhere. In particular access to services in rural regions is the focus of attention of policymakers, although in some countries, poor urban and sub-urban regions pose a challenge as well. Despite numerous efforts this mal-distribution of physician supply persists. This working paper first examines the drivers of the location choice of physicians, and second, it examines policy responses in a number of OECD countries... La répartition des médecins entre les régions est inégale dans pratiquement tous les pays de l’OCDE, et cela pose la question de savoir comment continuer de garantir l’accès aux services de santé partout. L’accès aux services dans les régions rurales préoccupe tout particulièrement les responsables publics, même si, dans certains pays, les régions urbaines et suburbaines pauvres posent aussi un problème. En dépit d’importants efforts, les inégalités dans la répartition des effectifs médicaux persistent. Le présent document de travail examine, dans un premier temps, les critères déterminants, pour les médecins, dans le choix de leur lieu d’exercice et, dans un second temps, les réponses apportées par les pouvoirs publics dans un certain nombre de pays de l’OCDE...

Suggested Citation

  • Tomoko Ono & Michael Schoenstein & James Buchan, 2014. "Geographic Imbalances in Doctor Supply and Policy Responses," OECD Health Working Papers 69, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaad:69-en

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0846-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Vicarelli, Giovanna & Pavolini, Emmanuele, 2015. "Health workforce governance in Italy," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(12), pages 1606-1612.
    3. Carson, Dean B. & Schoo, Adrian & Berggren, Peter, 2015. "The ‘rural pipeline’ and retention of rural health professionals in Europe's northern peripheries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(12), pages 1550-1556.
    4. Zeynep Or & Anne Penneau, 2017. "Analyse des déterminants territoriaux du recours aux urgences non suivi d’une hospitalisation," Working Papers DT72, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Sep 2017.
    5. Santric-Milicevic, Milena M. & Terzic-Supic, Zorica J. & Matejic, Bojana R. & Vasic, Vladimir & Ricketts, Thomas C., 2014. "First- and fifth-year medical students’ intention for emigration and practice abroad: A case study of Serbia," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 173-183.
    6. Holte, Jon Helgheim & Kjaer, Trine & Abelsen, Birgit & Olsen, Jan Abel, 2015. "The impact of pecuniary and non-pecuniary incentives for attracting young doctors to rural general practice," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 1-9.
    7. Kroezen, Marieke & Dussault, Gilles & Craveiro, Isabel & Dieleman, Marjolein & Jansen, Christel & Buchan, James & Barriball, Louise & Rafferty, Anne Marie & Bremner, Jeni & Sermeus, Walter, 2015. "Recruitment and retention of health professionals across Europe: A literature review and multiple case study research," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(12), pages 1517-1528.
    8. Mário Amorim Lopes & Álvaro Almeida & Bernardo Almada-Lobo, 2017. "Physician emigration: should they stay or should they go? A policy analysis," FEP Working Papers 585, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

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    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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