[Female and male general practitioners' patient lists]

Yngve Rønsen, Per Hjortdahl
Tidsskrift for Den Norske Lægeforening: Tidsskrift for Praktisk Medicin, Ny Række 2007 October 4, 127 (19): 2508-12

BACKGROUND: Implementation of the Regular General Practitioner (RGP) Scheme in Norway in June 2001, had as a goal to ensure regular access to a predefined local GP for all patients and hence improve continuity. The RGP Scheme is a contractual system; patients can only be listed with one GP at a time, but can change doctor at their own will twice a year without stating reasons for doing so. Study goals were to determine whether and how patient lists have changed with respect to gender and age since implementation of the RPG Scheme.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data from June 2001 to December 2004 were retrieved from The National Insurance Administration and Statistics Norway. GP patient lists in Oslo and Norway, for female and male doctors, were examined with respect to shifts in patient age and gender.

RESULTS: There was a clear tendency for women (25-49 years) and children (0-11 years) to aggregate on female GP lists, and for men (25-49 years) and elderly of both sexes to aggregate on male GP lists.

INTERPRETATION: Two thirds of the GPs in Oslo and half of those in Norway had open lists. This made it easier for patients in Oslo to change and find a doctor of their choice. The situation in Oslo illustrates how patient age and gender may typically be distributed on lists for male and female GPs in times with good GP coverage.

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