UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Political arithmetick : physician productivity in concept and measurement : draft discussion paper Evans, Robert G., 1942-


This paper was written for the Fourth Annual Medical Workforce Conference, San Francisco, November 4-7, 1999. The organizers intent was to have the conference papers published, and to have the discussants for the papers in each session contribute a synthesis paper for that session. The papers synthesized here are: Harding, John, and Warwick Conn, 'Workforce Productivity in the Australian Medical workforce', Watanabe, Mamoru, Lynda Buske and Jill Strachan, 'Canadian Physician Workforce Productivity', Maynard, Alan and Karen Bloor, 'Workforce Productivity in the U.K. NHS: Measurement, Variation and Incentives'. Unfortunately the organizers plans for publication did not materialize. This paper reached the antepenultimate stage of being circulated to the session participants for comment and possible revisions, after which references were to have been added. But the overall project was abandoned before any comments were received, and the paper was never completed for publication. The broader issue of physician productivity has, however, re-emerged in Canada. I believe that the paper offers a useful analytic framework for addressing that topic along with fairly detailed illustrative examples of its application to the descriptive material, institutional and statistical, provided in the session papers. Much has changed since; no attempt has been made to up-date those papers. But the process of applying the analytic framework to the world as it then was (said to be) provides, I think, a clear guide for a similar application to present circumstances.

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