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Understanding the oversupply of physicians in Greece: the role of human resources planning, financing policy, and physician power

Kaitelidou, Daphne and Mladovsky, Philipa and Leone, Tiziana and Kouli, Eugenia and Siskou, Olga Ch. (2012) Understanding the oversupply of physicians in Greece: the role of human resources planning, financing policy, and physician power. International Journal of Health Services, 42 (4). pp. 719-738. ISSN 0020-7314

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Identification Number: 10.2190/HS.42.4.h

Abstract

Planning of the workforce has emerged as a critical issue in European health policy, as the need for human resources for health is changing in light of demographic, epidemiological, and socio-cultural trends and patterns of supply and demand in service provision. Greece represents a country with an oversupply of physicians, having the highest concentration of physicians among European Union countries. The study aims to analyze the factors influencing the high number of physicians in Greece and make policy recommendations. The analysis was conducted through international literature review and database searches. Neither the demography of the physician population in terms of age, gender composition, and geographic dispersion, nor the epidemiology of the Greek population, can explain the relatively high number of physicians in Greece. Despite the physician surplus, Greece faces serious geographical inequities regarding the distribution of physicians. There are also imbalances within the specialist category, with certain specialists (e.g., cardiologists) being in oversupply compared to other European countries, while others (e.g., general practitioners) remain weakly represented. Inadequate planning of human resources for health, inadequate health financing policy regarding primary care, gatekeeping mechanisms, and medical power constitute the primary themes explaining the trends of physicians' population in Greece.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://baywood.metapress.com/app/home/journal.asp?...
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2013 11:48
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2013 09:16
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/48042

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