Do waiting times matter in primary care? GP visits and list sizes in England
This paper is largely motivated by the empirical observation that GP visits per person under the NHS have increased in England since the mid-1970s, while list sizes have decreased over the same period A hypothesis consistent with this observation is that larger list sizes are associated with longer waiting times, which reduce the demand for GP visits. Using a time series of repeated cross sections from 1972 to 2004, we construct a pseudopanel of synthetic individuals and find very little evidence that list sizes affect visit frequencies. While there are mild associations consistent with the waiting-time hypothesis among working-age women, there are none for men or the elderly, and no associations are robust to the cohort analysis. The demand for GP visits is most likely driven by health status, and for women, childbirth.
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