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Concentration of gynaecology and obstetrics in Germany: Is comprehensive access at stake?

Roman Mennicken (), Ingo Kolodziej, Boris Augurzky () and Rolf Kreienberg

Health Policy, 2014, vol. 118, issue 3, 396-406

Abstract: Financial soundness will become more and more difficult in the future for all types of hospitals. This is particularly relevant for gynaecology and obstetrics departments: while some disciplines can expect higher demand due to demographic changes and progress in medicine and medical technology, the inpatient sector for gynaecology and obstetrics is likely to lose patients in line with these trends. In this paper we estimate future demand for gynaecology and obstetrics in Germany and develop a cost model to calculate the average profitability in this discipline. The number of inpatient cases in gynaecology and obstetrics can be expected to decrease by 3.62% between 2007 and 2020 due to the demographic change and a potential shift from inpatient to outpatient services. Small departments within the fields of gynaecology and obstetrics are already incurring heavy losses, and the anticipated decline in cases should increase this financial distress even more. As such, the further centralisation of services is indicated. We calculate travel times for gynaecology and obstetrics patients and estimate the anticipated changes in travel times by simulating different scenarios for this centralisation process. Our results show that the centralisation of hospital services in gynaecology and obstetrics may be possible without compromising comprehensive access as measured by travel times.

Keywords: Demographic change; Comprehensive access to hospital services; Centralisation of hospital services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:118:y:2014:i:3:p:396-406

DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2014.07.017

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