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Open Access Distribution and equity trends for general practitioners in China from 2012 to 2015

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC licence.

Objective: This study aimed to identify the distribution and equity trends for general practitioners (GPs) in China from 2012 to 2015 and to provide evidence to guide the discipline’s development of general practice and for policy-making.

Methods: On the basis of data from the National Health Statistics yearbooks, the distribution and equity trends for GPs from 2012 to 2015 were analyzed with the Lorenz curve and Gini coefficient as indictors of health equity.

Results: From 2012 to 2015 the number of GPs increased at rates ranging from 9.3% to 32.5%, while the number of registered GPs increased at rates ranging from 32.6% to 37.2%. In 2015 the average number of GPs was 1.38 per 10,000 people (among the 31 provinces the highest rate was 3.90 per 10,000 people in Zhejiang and the lowest rate was 0.50 per 10,000 people in Xizang) and 1.98 per 100 km2 (among 31 provinces the highest rate was 89.23 per 100 km2 in Shanghai and the lowest rate was 0.01 per 100 km2 in Xizang). From 2012 to 2015 the Gini coefficients weighted by population were 0.31, 0.29, 0.26, and 0.25 respectively, while the Gini coefficients weighted by geographical area were 0.74, 0.72, 0.72, and 0.72 respectively.

Conclusion: The number of GPs increased rapidly in China; however, the proportion of registered GPs was unsatisfactory, and there were inequities among the different provinces. The government should launch integrated strategies to encourage GP trainees to become registered GPs and optimize the distribution and equity of GPs.
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Keywords: General practice; Gini coefficient; Lorenz curve; health equity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-07-01

More about this publication?
  • Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is an open-access journal focusing on subjects that are common and relevant to family medicine/general practice and community health. The journal publishes relevant content across disciplines such as epidemiology, public health, social and preventive medicine, research and evidence based medicine, community health service, patient education and health promotion and health ethics. The journal has a specific focus on the management of chronic illness particularly diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and common mental illness. FMCH is published by Compuscript http://www.compuscript.com on behalf of the Chinese General Practice Press http://www.chinagp.net.

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