Letters Doctor shortages

Save lives

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4703 (Published 27 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4703
  1. Mark Struthers, general practitioner and prison doctor1
  1. 1Bedfordshire
  1. mark.struthers{at}which.net

    Judy Siegel-Itzkovich reports a fall in doctor numbers in Israel, from 3.7 to 3.4 doctors for every 1000 residents.1 But chronic underfunding and the consequent doctor shortage may actually be good for the nation’s health.

    In June 2000, she reported from Jerusalem that a doctors’ strike, supported by the Israel Medical Association (IMA), had led to a considerable drop in the death rate.2 So the recent fall may well be something for the Israeli citizen to celebrate.

    (For comparison, the UK has 2.2 doctors per 1000 head of population, Malawi has 0.02, and the world weighted average is 1.7.)


    Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4703


    • Competing interests: None declared.