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Sept 11, 1967

An Economist's ViewMedical Manpower—A Continuing Crisis

JAMA. 1967;201(11):849-851. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130110075018

How does an economist look at the problem of medical manpower, at what this program calls "a continuing crisis"?

The first thing that I note is the importance of distinguishing between manpower and services, between people and what they do. The crisis that is often referred to arises from the fact that some persons and parts of the population do not receive sufficient medical services. This may result from a variety of causes: low incomes, lack of knowledge, unavailability of services. It is obvious that there is a relationship between the amount of health manpower and the number of health services that can be delivered. But it is not true that the relationship is fixed and immutable. It is, therefore, not true that the only way that the number of health services can be increased is to increase the number of physicians, or the number of dentists, or the number