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How French general practitioners respond to declining medical density: a study on prescription practices, with an insight into opioids use

Abstract : Disparities in physicians' geographical distribution lead to highly unequal access to healthcare, which may impact quality of care in both high and low-income countries. This paper uses a 2013-2014 nationally representative survey of French general practitioners (GPs) matched with corresponding administrative data to analyze the effects of practicing in an area with weaker medical density. To avoid the endogeneity issue on physicians' choice of the location, we enriched our variable of interest, practicing in a relatively underserved area, with considering changes in medical density between 2007 and 2013, thus isolating GPs who only recently experienced a density decline (identifying assumption). We find that GPs practicing in underserved areas do shorter consultations and tend to substitute time-consuming procedures with alternatives requiring fewer human resources, especially for pain management. Results are robust to considering only GPs newly exposed to low medical density. Findings suggest a significant impact of supply-side shortages on the mix of healthcare services used to treat patients, and point to a plausible increased use of painkillers, opioids in particular.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02944339
Contributor : Elisabeth Lhuillier <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 21, 2020 - 1:50:13 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, October 3, 2020 - 3:29:34 AM

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Julien Silhol, Bruno Ventelou, Anna Zaytseva. How French general practitioners respond to declining medical density: a study on prescription practices, with an insight into opioids use. European Journal of Health Economics, Springer Verlag, In press, ⟨10.1007/s10198-020-01222-8⟩. ⟨hal-02944339⟩

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