Inequality in the Distribution of Physicians in the South of Iran

Zahra Meshkani, Nader Markazi Moghaddam, Neda Valipouer Yekani, Hamed Nazari, Somayeh Moalemi, Abbas Ali kiyani


Introduction: The estimated human resources needed in the health care sector, especially physicians, have been discussed over the years. Supplying the targeted medical human resources is the key to improvement of health care in a country. The aim of this study was to determine the equity in distribution of physicians in the south of Iran before and after adjusting the needs.

Methods: In this study, data were gathered from the Statistics Center of Iran and Ministry of Health for the number of population and physicians, respectively. Birth and mortality rates were used for adjusting the needs. We calculated Gini and Robin Hood indices using the Excel 2013 software. In order to display the distribution of variables in graphical form, we used GIS software as well.

Results: Gini coefficients for general and specialized physicians in 2011 were 0.18 and 0.31, while they were 0.13 and 0.38, respectively, in 2014. The equity in distribution of GPs was better than specialists during the study period. The results revealed a worse status after adjusting needs.

Conclusion: Because the health sector is affiliated to human resources, especially physicians, paying attention to their balance based on the people’s needs is essential. Therefore, the Ministry of Health should put it as one of its goals. Accurate estimation of the required human resources can help to reduce the cost of health care systems as well as those of households.

Keywords: Inequality, Human resources for health, Gini coefficient, Needs assessment, Physicians

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