An Analysis of Specialist Surgeons and their Practices
A purposive sample of South African doctors provided data for the analysis of revenues, costs and earnings associated with specialist surgical medicine. Empirical analysis of the data, based on both nonparametric and parametric regression, finds that practice revenues increase by, on average, between R690 and R1050 per new patient, while costs increase by between R690 and 750 per patient. The total number of surgeries performed is not a consistently significant predictor of revenues, although it is a consistently cubic determinant of costs. In terms of total earnings, the total number of patients tends to decrease earnings, while the number of new patients increases earnings. Due to the low response rate in the survey, there is a a need to conduct further research into this topic, to provide better information to both specialists and the South African Department of Health, which sets pay packages for public sector health workers.
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