Changes in primary care provision in Turkey: A comparison of 1993 and 2012

Health Policy. 2017 Feb;121(2):197-206. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2016.11.016. Epub 2016 Dec 5.


Since the early 1990s, the primary care system in Turkey has undergone fundamental changes. In the first decade of the millennium family doctor scheme was introduced to the Turkish primary care sector and the name of the primary care doctors (PCDs) changed from "general practitioner" (GP) to "family doctor" (FD). This study aims to give an insight into those changes and to compare the service profiles of PCDs in 1993 and 2012. Data, based on cross sectional surveys among Turkish doctors working in primary care are derived from the 1993 European GP Task Profile study (n=199) and the 2012 Quality and Costs of Primary Care in Europe (QUALICOPC) study (n=299). The study focuses on the changes in the primary care service provision based on selected aspects such as the first contact of care, preventive care, and the knowledge exchange and collaboration with other health professionals. Compared to GPs in 1993, FDs in 2012 reported that their involvement in treatment of chronic diseases, first contact care, antenatal and child health care have increased. FDs have more contact with other primary healthcare workers but their contact with hospital consultants have decreased. Overall, the services provided by PCDs seem to be expanded. However, the quality of care given by FDs and its effects on health indicators are needed to be explored by further studies.

Keywords: Family physician; General practice; Health services research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Physicians, Primary Care*
  • Primary Health Care / economics*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Turkey