Did EU-financed new outpatient centres make visits to physicians more frequent?


A number of new outpatient centres were set up in poor micro-regions. Our study, exploiting this to figure out the effect of easier access on case numbers has just been published in Health Economics

In 2010-2012 new outpatient service locations were established in Hungarian micro-regions, which had lacked such capacities before. Two BI researchers and their colleague at ELTE, in their evaluation for the National Development Agency used this quasi-experiment to estimate the effect of geographical accessibility on outpatient case numbers using individual-level panel data. Their paper, just published, found a 24-27 per cent increase of case numbers as a result of the establishments. Specialty-by-specialty estimates implied that a one-minute reduction of travel time to the nearest outpatient unit increases case numbers e.g. by 0.9 percent in internal care and 3.1 per cent in rheumatology.
A free-access earlier version of the study is available here.