[Projection of General Practitioner Care Demand at the Community Level]

Gesundheitswesen. 2015 Dec;77(12):939-46. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1398605. Epub 2015 Mar 11.
[Article in German]


Background: Within the next 8 years about 2 000 general practitioners (GPs) will be seeking a successor in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Both the small number of newly qualified GPs and the wish to work as an employee or in a group practice will lead to a situation in which about 500 practices will likely not find a successor. Using a single administrative district, the aim of this analysis was to develop a projection of the demand for GP health care at the community level.

Methods: Using the administrative district of Rottweil with its 21 communities, a community-based demographic forecast on the basis of current birth and death probabilities was performed. From the projected population structure, the demand for GP care in the year 2023 was derived under the assumption of unchanged age- and gender-specific numbers of GP visits. The anticipated deficit or, respectively, overrun of GPs at the community level was calculated as the difference between expected demand and number of GPs not retiring for age-related reasons.

Results: Until the year 2023 the demographic change will cause a shrinking population. However, with unchanged age- and gender-specific numbers of GP visits, a slightly higher demand of 0.6 GPs will occur as a result of population-aging. The expected age-related retirement of physicians will have a stronger impact on primary care demand than demography. Up to 32 (37%) GPs might need a successor. In addition to 4 communities today, this would result in another 5 communities not having a GP in 10 years.

Conclusion: Communities that are at higher risk of GP shortage based on demographic changes and age of practicing GPs, can be identified by the approach described and applied here in order to implement targeted comprehensive community models of care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Community Health Services / trends*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Forecasting*
  • General Practitioners / statistics & numerical data
  • General Practitioners / supply & distribution*
  • General Practitioners / trends*
  • Germany
  • Models, Statistical
  • Needs Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Needs Assessment / trends*
  • Utilization Review