Hours worked by General Practitioners and waiting times for Primary Care

M. Swami, H. Gravelle, A Scott, J Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The decline in the working hours of general practitioners (GPs) is a key factor influencing access to healthcare in many countries. We investigate the effect of changes in hours worked by general practitioners (GPs) on waiting times in primary care using the MABEL longitudinal survey of Australian doctors. We estimate GP fixed effects models for waiting time and use family circumstances to instrument for GP’s hours worked. We find that a 10% reduction in hours worked increases average patient waiting time by 12%. Our findings highlight the importance of GPs’ labour supply at the intensive margin in determining the length of time patients must wait to see their doctor.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalHealth Economics
Early online date19 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2018

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© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • primary care
  • waiting times
  • labour supply
  • fixed-effects
  • Instrumental Variable model
  • MABEL Survey

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