[Perceptions of the local government about the primary care physicians shortage - a survey among mayors in the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg]

Gesundheitswesen. 2012 Oct;74(10):612-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1308977. Epub 2012 Apr 5.
[Article in German]


Background: Local governments have a crucial role in dealing with the primary care physicians shortage (PS). The aim of this study is to evaluate the perspectives and experiences of the local mayors on this issue.

Methods: In May 2011, all 1101 mayors in the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg (BW) were invited to participate in the study by filling out a survey developed by the authors. Data were analysed descriptively.

Results: Of the contacted mayors in BW, 63% (n=698) responded. More than 90% of the participants consider it their duty to ensure future primary care. 16% experienced local practice closures due to PS. The infrastructure provided by the communities seems to be at a high level, whereas emergency practices exist in only 15% of the communities at present. Supportive actions to attract new GPs are evaluated as appropriate by almost half of the participants.

Conclusions: The PS topic is of high relevance for communities in BW. In order to gain future physicians for their region, the majority of the communities are maintaining a high level of infrastructure and are willing to offer more actions. The young generation physicians need to be informed about these existing conditions. Innovative ideas should be implemented in individual communities as pilot projects.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Career Choice
  • Data Collection
  • General Practice
  • Germany
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Local Government*
  • Medically Underserved Area*
  • National Health Programs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians, Primary Care / supply & distribution*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workforce