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I guess you need a lot of doctors if they don't work much. This is probably really expensive given how much it costs to train a doctor.

Perhaps it would be cheaper in the long run for Greece to pay doctors more, even per consultations, to work more?

@ Nathan,

Greece is just a very special place, with respect to nearly everything.

Half the time, OECD and other numbers for this country are missing, PISA scores not published, home ownership and value all wildly distorted. And where numbers exist, like hours worked per year, you can not believe them. Just eliminate this country from any analysis of "normal".

On doctor consultations in Germany (18 per capita per year, some serious disconnect to Figure 3 above !!!!!!, Livio, please check !).

We have a well known, but not much published problem of old folks using that for social interaction. Some attempts like "Praxisgebühr" actually caused the opposite effect.

And some well meaning programs are also shaped in a way, getting you every quarter to your GP and some "specialist". You have to work actually to avoid it.

I checked the OECD database (http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?DataSetCode=HEALTH_STAT) , and Livios Figure 2 shows the data (Health Care Utilisation, Consultations) there.

The number for Germany there is 9.7. The numbers in circulation in Germany are 16.3 - 18.1(e.g. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%84rztehopping the english wiki Doctor_hopping is about something completely different !!) 16.3 - 18.1

Greece numbers are missing since 2006, the usual. I interpret this as people do not believe the data before either.

"Deutsche Primär- (Haus-) Ärzte haben im Schnitt 243 Patienten pro Woche, in anderen in unten genannter Studie untersuchten Industrieländern sind es meist zwischen 102 und 154. Die Zeit pro Patientenkontakt lag international im Mittel zwischen 11 und 19 Minuten, in Deutschland bei unter acht Minuten. Eine der Ursachen der verbreiteten Unzufriedenheit deutscher Hausärzte könnte in ihrer Belastung durch die höhere Zahl von kürzeren Patientenkontakten liegen.["

Basically if you need any drug, you have to go once a quarter to the physician, get the prescription, often you do not even see him. A classical case of "making the numbers" and collecting some treatment fees.

And often, when you see him, it is for a very short time (the average 8 minutes above) and many do not listen, no wonder given the circumstances.


I did stop taking certain prescriptions, he and his colleague really urged me on to take, 2 years ago, and did not diet since that, and my body shows that clearly : - ) I mention this at the followup meeting (both the sampling and the meeting triggered by me) with all blood values ok, and blood pressure too, .... he nods, looks a little in my patient data and utters:

"Fascinating what a strict diet like yours can achieve"


I also have to go now 2 times a year to the dentist, otherwise I dont get a 10% repayment on my payments. But a 5 minute check for dark spots does not need any preparation /personal knowledge on his side, so I assume my insurances knows what they are doing. And I typically only have to wait about 5 mintues at the dentist. He is busy but very well organized.

Genauer:That is interesting about the number circulating in Germany as it is certainly much higher than that reported in the OECD. The OECD numbers are for 2011 or nearest year (which in the Greek case is 2006 for consultations per capita).

I would have serious doubts about the methodology if I were you. I have been practicing for nearly 30 years and I run a 70 provider group. I have many Canadian friends who are physicians. We vacation in Canada and I have met with physicians there. We inevitably compare hours and workload. They aren't that far apart. I would look at coding differences and at differences in the number of specialties, especially primary care. Heaven knows we do many more procedures than you guys do, so just using consults seems like a very limited approach.


Doctor "A" earn 100$/hr. Doctor "B" earn 200$/hr. I'm sure that a certain number of doctor B will be working less hours (maybe half time) because an equivalent salary of 100$/hr working full time is all they need.

That means that the more you pay them, the less they work and it fit very well with the last graph with a negative slope.

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