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Burcay Erus and Ayca Bilir
''Obligatory service requirement and physician specialist distribution in Turkey''
( 2015, Vol. 35 No.1 )
Obligatory service requirement is one of the government policies which has been adopted, especially in developing countries, to attract physicians to locations that are considered rather unattractive. Objective of this study is to analyze the impact of the obligatory service requirement on specialist workforce distribution in public sector in Turkey, using a panel study with data from 63 provinces, in years 1990, 1995, and 2000. To identify the impact of the regulation we make use of the change in the regulation in 1995 which ended the requirement for the new graduates to work for 2 to 4 years in a location specified by the government. We test whether the importance of a socio-economic development index as a determinant of specialist distribution differs across the periods. We also provide summary statistics for the change in the workload of specialists. Results show that obligatory service requirements have been effective in directing specialist workforce to less developed parts of Turkey. When the requirement was lifted, socio-economic conditions of a region became a significant determinant of availability of specialists. Despite improvement in the specialist distribution, we observe no change in workload of specialists indicating a significant shortage.
Keywords: physician specialists, Turkey, inequalities, regulation, obligatory service
JEL: I1 - Health: General
Manuscript Received : Apr 02 2014 Manuscript Accepted : Mar 11 2015

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