Health inequalities and scaricity in primary care physicians: ethical issues

Evidence supports the beneficial health impact of an increase in primary care physicians for underserved populations. However, given the shortage of primary care physicians in many countries, the authors of this recently published paper explore the options  available to distribute physicians and how these can be seen from an ethical perspective.

The authors undertook a literature review on primary care physician distribution and  categorised the results into five levels depending upon levels of incentive or coercion. Through a debate on theories of libertarianism, utilitarianism and justice they attempt to answer what normal norms, if any, could be considered critical in deciding upon appropriate measures for distributing primary care physicians.

What do you think? Is it justifiable to set special incentives for, or to coerce, medical students to became primary care physicians in unattractive regions? Leave your comment and take part in this interesting discussion!




This paper was written by Greg Stapleton, Peter Schröder-Bäck, Helmut Brand and David Townend.

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