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AHEAD Working Papers Series

N° 01/2020

Ahcène ZEHNATI (2020). Main determinants of private physicians’ location in Algeria: An empirical study


Background: In Algeria, private physicians settle much more in the northern regions of the country and preferably in the larger metropolises than in the rest of regions.

Objective: First, to analyze the inequality in — and evolution of — the geographic distribution of Algerian private physicians and secondly to estimate the main determinants of doctors’ density.

Data sources: The data used come from multiple sources. Firstly, there are those relating to public and private healthcare provision drawn from the statistical yearbooks of the Health Ministry and Population (MSPRH) and other relevant information concerning the provision of healthcare in the wilaya (region). Secondly, the healthcare expenditures of insured persons and relatives were collected at the level of the National Social Insurance Fund (CNAS). Finally, those concerning the socio-demographic data come from the general census of the population and the habitat (RGPH) of different years.

Study design: The analysis of the geographic distribution of doctors is based on the ratio of general practitioners (GPs) and specialists to 1000 inhabitants. The inequality is measured using Gini index and coefficients of variation. The econometric models (static and dynamic) were estimated by ordinary least squares. The data used refer to 1998 and 2017.

Principal Findings: The overall disparities have slightly increased between 1998-2017. The same well-endowed wilayas continue to attract physicians’. The econometric estimation suggests that the population density, the social security expenditures per inhabitant, and the proximity to university hospitals are the main determinants of location choices both in the static and dynamic models.

Conclusions: The rising number of trained physicians does not automatically address the problem of their territorial distribution particularly in a context of characterized by the absence of any government policy towards the private sector.