ERIC Number: EJ720212
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: N/A
Growing Old Together: The Influence of Population and Workforce Aging on Supply and Use of Family Physicians
Watson, Diane E.; Reid, Robert; Roos, Noralou P.; Heppner, Petra
Canadian Journal on Aging, v24 suppl 1 p37-45 2005
Canadians have expressed concern that access to a family physician (FP) has declined precipitously. Yet FP to population ratios remained relatively stable over the last decade, and there were perceptions of physician surpluses, at least in urban centres, 10 years ago. We evaluated whether demographic changes among patients and FPs, and in the volume of care received and provided over the period, contribute to this paradox. Given the relationship between age and FP use in fiscal year 1991/1992, an aging population should have been associated with a 2 per cent increase in visits by 2000/2001. Likewise, given the relationship between FP age and workloads in 1991/1992, an aging workforce should have been associated with a 12 per cent increase in service provision a decade later. Yet visit rates and average FP workloads remained unchanged. There was an increase in age-specific rates of FP use among older adults and a decline in rates among the young, and an increase in age-specific workloads such that older FPs provided many more services than their predecessors (30%) and younger FPs provided many fewer (20%). In terms of impact on future requirements for FPs, both changes in age-specific rates of use, and changes in age-specific patterns of FP productivity, trump population aging as key drivers.
Descriptors: Patients, Physicians, Family Practice (Medicine), Older Adults, Foreign Countries, Medical Services, Age Differences, Demography, Access to Health Care, Working Hours
University of Toronto Press, 5201 Dufferin Street, North York, Ontario M3H 5T8 Canada. Tel: 416-667-7838; Fax: 416-667-7881.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada