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Title: A computer simulation model of the mobility patterns of general practitioners
Author: Watson, M.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1980
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One of the avowed intentions of the creators of the National Health Service was to bring about an equitable distribution of doctors throughout the country. This thesis traces the history of general practice and although there is no doubt that the standards and structure of general practice have improved since 1948, it is also found that attempts to alter the distribution of general practitioners have proved remarkably ineffective. A computer model is constructed to simulate the geographical movements of general practitioners based upon the theory of Markov chains using data extracted from the lists of first admissions to, re-admissions to, and withdrawals from general practice compiled by the Department of Health and Social Security. The model demonstrates the fact that the forces underlying the mobility patterns of doctors have been invariant in time. It also shows that the various geographical regions of the country may be represented by a graded system in which the Southern non-industrial areas of the country exhibit a superior ability to attract doctors from most of the other regions. The vacancies in the industrial and urban areas are filled on the whole by immigrant doctors. Also shown by the model are the differing and greater mobility and early retirement rates of women doctors. The ability successfully to fit a stochastic process to the geographical movements of general practitioners implies that their distribution tends towards an equilibrium position. The thesis shows that this position has been virtually reached at the present time. Given the freedom of general practitioners to make appointments to their partnerships and group practices and their independent status within the National Health Service, it seems reasonable to conclude that the status quo is likely to remain in the foreseeable future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available