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The Value of Socialized Medicine: The Impact of Universal Primary Healthcare Provision on Birth and Mortality Rates in Turkey

Resul Cesur (), Güne?, P?nar Mine (), Erdal Tekin () and Aydogan Ulker ()
Additional contact information
Güne?, P?nar Mine: University of Alberta

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Pinar Mine Gunes ()

No 9329, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper examines the impact of universal, free, and easily accessible primary healthcare on population health as measured by age-specific birth and mortality rates, focusing on a nationwide socialized medicine program implemented in Turkey. The Family Medicine Program (FMP), launched in 2005, assigns each Turkish citizen to a specific state-employed family physician, who offers a wide range of primary healthcare services that are free-of-charge. Furthermore, these services are provided at family health centers, which operate on a walk-in basis and are located within the neighborhoods in close proximity to the patients. To identify the causal impact of the FMP, we exploit the variation in its introduction across provinces and over time. Our estimates indicate that the FMP caused large declines in mortality rates across all age groups with more pronounced impacts among infants and the elderly, and a moderate reduction in the birth rates, primarily among teenagers. Furthermore, the results are suggestive that the program has also contributed towards equalization in the mortality disparities across provinces. Our findings highlight the importance of a nationwide supply-side intervention on improving public health.

Keywords: mortality; infant; Turkey; health; medicine; socialized; reform; healthcare; birth; teenager; physician (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I0 I1 I11 I13 I14 I18 J13 J14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 67 pages
Date: 2015-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara, nep-cwa, nep-hea and nep-ias
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as 'The value of socialized medicine: The impact of universal primary healthcare provision on mortality rates in 'in: Journal of Public Economics, 2017, 150, 74 - 93

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