Estimate General Practitioners Active Supply in Iran: Capture-Recapture Method for Three Data Sources
Background: Accurate estimation of active general practitioners (GPs) is a concern for health authorities to estimate requirements. This study aimed to accurately estimate GPs active supply in Iran using three sources capture-recapture (CRC) method.
Methods: This cross-sectional study collected data during 2015-2016, targeting all GPs registered in three independent data sources; a national survey from all hospitals, database of human resource management office at health ministry and physicians' offices databank. Variables including medical council codes, GP names, surnames and national ID codes were used for data linkage among the three sources. Three sources CRC method was applied using log-linear models to estimate the total number of active GPs in STATA software.
Results: Overall, 27,048 GPs were identified after removing the duplicate records. Based on CRC three sources data, the total number of GPs were 53,630 in 2015-2016. Distribution of GPs per 1,000 population among the provinces indicates that provinces of Kohgiluyeh & Boyer Ahmad, Mazandaran, Golestan and Yazd with ratios of 1.28, 1.28, 1.21 and 1.17 physicians rank the highest proportion of GPs and the provinces of Sistan & Baluchestan, Ilam, Zanjan, Alborz, North Khorasan with corresponding ratios of 0.24, 0.40, 0.40, 0.43 and 0.45 GPs ranked the lowest.
Conclusion: CRC method is known to be the best and rapidest method to estimate active GP due to its compatibility for the current situation of databanks in Iran. Therefore, this method is a good application in human resource distribution and planning.
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