Measuring Equity of Geographical Distribution of Specialist Physicians in Iran’s Health System

Reza Moradi, Alireza Olyaeemanesh, Ali Mohammad Mosadeghrad, Iraj Harirchi, Bagher Larijni


Background: Equitable distribution of health care sector resources is one of the most important goals of health systems in all countries. The purpose of this study is to measure equity of geographical distribution of active specialist physicians in Iran’s health system. Methods: The present study was a descriptive‑cross‑sectional. The statistical population included: all active specialist physicians working in the public, private, social insurance organization, military, charity, and the other health service providers in Iran in 2019. Studied demographic data were collected from Iran’s national statistic center. Also, information of specialist physicians was obtained from several databases. Finally, duplicated records were removed, and the number of specialist physicians extracted. Data analysis was performed using Stata V.16 and ArcGIS 10.4 software. Results: The results showed that the number of specialist physicians per 100,000 population who worked in Iran’s health system was 46.81. The provinces of Tehran had the highest and Sistan and Baluchestan had the lowest number of specialist physicians. Also, 52.63% of active specialist physicians provide health services in four provinces, whereas these provinces are 37.13% of the country’s population. Total Gini coefficient of the distribution of active physicians in Iran in 2019 was 0.23. Conclusions: Distribution of specialist physician was different but somewhat equitable in the provinces. However, in some provinces, the ratio of specialist physicians to the population was still low. Therefore, when the number of specialist physicians increased, their distribution should be considered concurrently


Equity; geographical distribution; health system; Iran; specialist physicians

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