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Revista médica de Chile

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GUILLOU, Michèle; CARABANTES C, Jorge  and  BUSTOS F, Verónica. Availability of physicians and specialists in Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2011, vol.139, n.5, pp.559-570. ISSN 0034-9887.

The availability and planning of Human Resources are important issues in many countries, as it is a key factor to cope with the critical challenges of Health Care Systems. In Chile, the Ministry of Health has undertaken several studies in order to improve knowledge about the medical workforce both in public and private sectors. The aim of this paper is to update and systematize the existing data on physicians and specialists availability in Chile. Several information sources were crossed to obtain new and more precise figures about this topic. According to the Internal Revenue System, 29.996 physicians practice medicine in the country, 43% of them hired in public services, part or full time. There is a high concentration of professionals in the central regions of Chile. Being the overall density of physicians of one per 559 inhabitants, the figures in the central region is one per 471 and one per more than 800 in the South and North. Between 2004 and 2008, the public sector increased its physician workforce by more than 80% in primary health care and more than 20% in the secondary and tertiary levels. This paper presents a method for a more rigorous identification of the categories of general practitioner and specialist respectively, and the results obtained from the databases used.

Keywords : Health planning guidelines; Health resources; Health Services research.

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