Strength of primary care service delivery: a comparative study of European countries, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada
Aim We sought to examine strength of primary care service delivery as measured by selected process indicators by general practitioners from 31 European countries plus Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. We explored the relation between strength of service delivery and healthcare expenditures. Background The strength of a country's primary care is determined by the degree of development of a combination of core primary care dimensions in the context of its healthcare system. This study analyses the strength of service delivery in primary care as measured through process indicators in 31 European countries plus Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Methods A comparative cross-sectional study design was applied using the QUALICOPC GP database. Data on the strength of primary healthcare were collected using a standardized GP questionnaire, which included 60 questions divided into 10 dimensions related to process, structure, and outcomes. A total of 6734 general practitioners participated. Data on healthcare expenditure were obtained from World Bank statistics. We conducted a correlation analysis to analyse the relationship between strength and healthcare expenditures. Findings Our findings show that the strength of service delivery parameters is less than optimal in some countries, and there are substantial variations among countries. Continuity and comprehensiveness of care are significantly positively related to national healthcare expenditures; however, coordination of care is not.
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