Health inequalities and regional specific scarcity in primary care physicians: Ethical issues and criteria

Greg Stapleton, Peter Schröder-Bäck, Helmut Brand, David Townend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: A substantial body of evidence supports the beneficial health impact of an increase in primary care physicians for underserved populations. However, given that in many countries primary care physician shortages persist, what options are available to distribute physicians and how can these be seen from an ethical perspective? Methods: A literature review was performed on the topic of primary care physician distribution. An ethical discussion of conceivable options for decision makers that applied prominent theories of ethics was held. Results: Examples of distributing primary care physicians were categorised into five levels depending upon levels of incentive or coercion. When analysing these options through theories of ethics, contrasting, and even controversial, moral issues were identified. However, the different morally salient criteria identified are of prima facie value for decision makers. Conclusions: The discussion provides clear criteria for decision makers to consider when addressing primary care physician shortages. Yet, decision makers will still need to assess specific situations by these criteria to ensure that any decisions they make are morally justifiable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-455
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2014

Fingerprint

Primary Care Physicians
Ethics
physician
decision maker
Health
health
shortage
Coercion
moral philosophy
Vulnerable Populations
Motivation
Physicians
incentive
evidence
Values

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

@article{6a40f7e2ee494944bcf52d19f6eb524c,
title = "Health inequalities and regional specific scarcity in primary care physicians: Ethical issues and criteria",
abstract = "Objectives: A substantial body of evidence supports the beneficial health impact of an increase in primary care physicians for underserved populations. However, given that in many countries primary care physician shortages persist, what options are available to distribute physicians and how can these be seen from an ethical perspective? Methods: A literature review was performed on the topic of primary care physician distribution. An ethical discussion of conceivable options for decision makers that applied prominent theories of ethics was held. Results: Examples of distributing primary care physicians were categorised into five levels depending upon levels of incentive or coercion. When analysing these options through theories of ethics, contrasting, and even controversial, moral issues were identified. However, the different morally salient criteria identified are of prima facie value for decision makers. Conclusions: The discussion provides clear criteria for decision makers to consider when addressing primary care physician shortages. Yet, decision makers will still need to assess specific situations by these criteria to ensure that any decisions they make are morally justifiable.",
author = "Greg Stapleton and Peter Schr{\"o}der-B{\"a}ck and Helmut Brand and David Townend",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s00038-013-0497-7",
language = "English",
volume = "59",
pages = "449--455",
journal = "International Journal of Public Health",
issn = "1661-8556",
publisher = "Birkhauser Verlag Basel",
number = "3",

}

Health inequalities and regional specific scarcity in primary care physicians : Ethical issues and criteria. / Stapleton, Greg; Schröder-Bäck, Peter; Brand, Helmut; Townend, David.

In: International Journal of Public Health, Vol. 59, No. 3, 01.01.2014, p. 449-455.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Health inequalities and regional specific scarcity in primary care physicians

T2 - Ethical issues and criteria

AU - Stapleton, Greg

AU - Schröder-Bäck, Peter

AU - Brand, Helmut

AU - Townend, David

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - Objectives: A substantial body of evidence supports the beneficial health impact of an increase in primary care physicians for underserved populations. However, given that in many countries primary care physician shortages persist, what options are available to distribute physicians and how can these be seen from an ethical perspective? Methods: A literature review was performed on the topic of primary care physician distribution. An ethical discussion of conceivable options for decision makers that applied prominent theories of ethics was held. Results: Examples of distributing primary care physicians were categorised into five levels depending upon levels of incentive or coercion. When analysing these options through theories of ethics, contrasting, and even controversial, moral issues were identified. However, the different morally salient criteria identified are of prima facie value for decision makers. Conclusions: The discussion provides clear criteria for decision makers to consider when addressing primary care physician shortages. Yet, decision makers will still need to assess specific situations by these criteria to ensure that any decisions they make are morally justifiable.

AB - Objectives: A substantial body of evidence supports the beneficial health impact of an increase in primary care physicians for underserved populations. However, given that in many countries primary care physician shortages persist, what options are available to distribute physicians and how can these be seen from an ethical perspective? Methods: A literature review was performed on the topic of primary care physician distribution. An ethical discussion of conceivable options for decision makers that applied prominent theories of ethics was held. Results: Examples of distributing primary care physicians were categorised into five levels depending upon levels of incentive or coercion. When analysing these options through theories of ethics, contrasting, and even controversial, moral issues were identified. However, the different morally salient criteria identified are of prima facie value for decision makers. Conclusions: The discussion provides clear criteria for decision makers to consider when addressing primary care physician shortages. Yet, decision makers will still need to assess specific situations by these criteria to ensure that any decisions they make are morally justifiable.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84901365480&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84901365480&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00038-013-0497-7

DO - 10.1007/s00038-013-0497-7

M3 - Article

C2 - 23880912

AN - SCOPUS:84901365480

VL - 59

SP - 449

EP - 455

JO - International Journal of Public Health

JF - International Journal of Public Health

SN - 1661-8556

IS - 3

ER -