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Community Demand for Doctors in the next 10 Years

Br Med J 1969; 1 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.1.5646.769 (Published 22 March 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;1:769
  1. J. M. Last

    Abstract

    The demand for doctors has increased despite improved community health, because the prevalence of chronic disease has increased, and because affluence, better education, and the growth of specialization have all stimulated demand.

    Most authorities have recommended an increase in the supply of doctors to meet the increasing demand. Nevertheless, a supply which preserves the present ratio of doctors to population might be adequate if medical productivity were raised. Moreover, an increase of the supply stimulates further demand; perhaps demand would fall if the supply were reduced, and community health might not deteriorate as a result of this.

    Other social institutions besides medicine have a claim on the available pool of talent from which doctors are recruited. It is possible that medicine already receives its fair share.

    Footnotes

    • * Text of paper presented at the Third Australian Medical Congress, Sydney, 14 August 1968.

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