Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HERO On line Working Paper Series,
Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme

No 1999:2: The interaction between patient shortage and patients waiting time

Tor Iversen () and Hilde Lurås
Additional contact information
Tor Iversen: Institute of Health Management and Health Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, NO-0317 Oslo, Norway
Hilde Lurås: Institute of Health Management and Health Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, NO-0317 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: We study the interaction between patient shortage and patients' waiting time to get an appointment. From a theoretical model we predict that physicians experiencing a shortage of patients offer their patients a shorter waiting time than their unconstrained colleagues. This happens because a shorter waiting time is expected to lower the threshold for seeking care, and hence, to increase the number of patient-initiated contacts. But it also happens because a shorter waiting time can be a mean to attract new patients. The hypotheses are supported by some preliminary results from a sample of Norwegian general practitioners participating in a capitation trial.

Keywords: General practitioner; patient shortage; waiting time

JEL-codes: I11; I18

36 pages, July 1, 2009

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