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Health Serv Res. 1977 Fall; 12(3): 233–249.
PMCID: PMC1071994

Referrals and demand for specialist care in the Netherlands.


Three independent sets of data are analyzed to investigate the determinants of referrals from general practitioners to specialists, the demand for specialist care, and the rapid increase in referrals and use of specialists in the Netherlands. Individual determinants of demand are examined with data from a three-man group practice; macroanalyses are conducted on cross-section data from all service areas of the Dutch Sickness Fund Organization for 1971 and 1973 and cross-section time-series data from all provinces for the period from 1960 to 1972. Regression coefficients are estimated for the number of referrals to specialists and the amount of care given by specialists, with respect to explanatory variables that induce both socioeconomic and care-supply factors. Results are discussed in light of M. Feldstein's classification of three types of care, in which for some types the physician is seen as generating the demand for care. The authors conclude that demand for specialist outpatient care is in large part supply-determined and that general practitioners substitute for specialists; they also suggest that the dual physician-payment system in the Netherlands (capitation for legally insured patients and fee-for-service for privately insured patients) contributes to increased use of specialist care.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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Articles from Health Services Research are provided here courtesy of Health Research & Educational Trust