How the government intervention affects the distribution of physicians in Turkey between 1965 and 2000Report as inadecuate

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International Journal for Equity in Health

, 14:1

First Online: 08 January 2015Received: 04 July 2014Accepted: 17 December 2014DOI: 10.1186-s12939-014-0131-1

Cite this article as: Ünal, E. Int J Equity Health 2015 14: 1. doi:10.1186-s12939-014-0131-1


IntroductionOne of the main weaknesses of the health system in Turkey is the uneven distribution of physicians. The diversity among geographical districts was huge in the beginning of the 1960s. After the 1980s, the implementation of a two-year compulsory service for newly graduated physicians is an interesting and specific experience for all countries. The aim of this study is to analyse the distribution of physicians, GPs and specialists between the years 1965-2000 and the efficiency of the strict 15 year government intervention 1981-1995.

MethodsThe data used in this study includes the published data by the Ministry of Health and The State Institute of Statistics between the years 1965–2000. Covering 35 years for total physicians, GPs and specialists, Gini coefficients are calculated so as to observe the change in the distribution. In order to measure the efficiency of government intervention, Gini index belonging to the previous 15 years first period-1965 to 1980 and the last 15 years second period of 1981 when the compulsory service was enacted is also analysed including the statistical tests.

ResultsIn 1965, the Gini for total physician is quite high 0.47, and in 2000 it decreases considerably 0.20. In 1965, the Gini for GPs and the Gini for specialists is 0.44 and 0.52, respectively and in 2000 these values decrease to 0.13 and 0.28, respectively. It is observed that, with this government intervention, the level of diversity has decreased dramatically up to 2000. Regarding to regression, the rate of decrease in Gini index in the second period is higher for the GPs than that of the specialists.

ConclusionThe inequalities in the distribution between GPs and specialists are significantly different; inequality of specialist distribution is higher than the GP. The improvement of the inequality in the physician distribution produced by the market mechanism shows a long period when it is left to its own devices. It is seen that the compulsory service policy is efficient since the physician distribution has improved significantly. The government intervention provides a faster improvement in the GP distribution.

KeywordsDistribution of physicians Government intervention on health Compulsory service for physicians  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Erdinç Ünal


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