Physician density planning in a public healthcare system: Complexities, threats and opportunities—The case of the Israeli healthcare system

Ronni Gamzu, Nir Kaidar, Arnon Afek, Tuvia Horev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human-resource planning in healthcare is one of the most significant challenges that healthcare systems worldwide face. Among all healthcare professions, the planning of physician supply is the most complex of all due to physicians’ lengthy training and many specialties. Forecasts showing a disturbing downward trend in the ratio of physicians to population in Israel prompted the Israeli Government in 2010 to establish a committee mandated to predict demand for physicians and recommend steps to adjust supply to it. The committee analyzed numerous variables that affect physician supply and demand and recommended measures that in greater part were implemented. The article discusses the methodology of the committee, its recommendations, and their implementation such as a 52% increase in the number of first-year medical students between 2010 and 2012. Its analysis of the current situation shows that the implementation of the recommendations successfully stemmed the decrease in physician density and attained the committee's other long-term objectives: physician density of 2.9 per 1000 of population and an increase (32.5%) in the number of physicians who began training in targeted specialties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)920-927
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Policy
Volume120
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Human resources
  • Physicians
  • Workforce issues

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