Research Article

Population characteristics and the distribution of general medical practitioners.

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.1.6161.463 (Published 17 February 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:463
  1. M J Buxton,
  2. R E Klein

    Abstract

    By applying the logic of the Resource Allocation Working Party to the analysis of the distribution of general medical practitioners, the relevant Family Practitioner Committee (FPC) populations were weighted according to known patterns of use related to specific characteristics--namely, age, sex, marital state, and socioeconomic group. Comparative weightings were also calculated using standardised mortality ratios. Adjusting the populations to take account of differential use has relatively little impact on national variations in list sizes but an appreciable effect on particular FPCs, notably East and West Sussex, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight. Inequalities in the distribution of general practitioners are increased considerably, however, if figures taking account of the inflation of list sizes and cross-boundary flows are used. To formulate and monitor policy about the distribution of general practitioners more sensitive measures of population and its likely demand for services must be developed.