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J Educ Health Promot. 2018 Jul 6;7:89. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_14_18. eCollection 2018.

Trends of geographic distribution of general practitioners in the public health sector of Iran.

Author information

MPH in Management and Health System Reforms, Deputy of General Human Resources Management of Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Management and Health Economic, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Medical Information Sciences, School of Management and Medical Information Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health, School of Public Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.



Proper distribution of general practitioners (GPs) is one of the challenges in all health systems. This study aimed to investigate geographical distribution of GPs in public health sector in Iran between 2010 and 2016.


The study is a descriptive-cross-sectional study. The population of provinces was extracted from Iran's National Statistic Center, while information on GPs was gathered from deputy of statistic and information technology in Ministry of Health and Medical Education. Data analysis was carried out using descriptive statistics, Gini coefficient (GC), and by drawing geographical distribution map of GPs. Data analysis was performed by excel 2013, Stata V.14, and Arc GIS software.


The results of calculating the number of GPs per 100,000 population in Iran showed that, in year 2010, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province had the highest (10.39) and Alborz Province had the lowest (0.66) number of per capita GPs. The highest number of GPs per 100,000 population among Iran's provinces belonged to Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari (8.97), while the lowest belonged to Tehran (0.28) in year 2016. The GC was 0.31 in year 2010 and 0.283 for 2011. The lowest GC belonged to year 2012 (GC = 0.272), while the largest coefficient belonged to year 2016 (0.356).


According to the results of this study, the distribution of GPs in public health sector of Iran in between 2010 and 2016 showed inequality. Therefore, along with increasing the number of GPs working in public health sector, it is necessary to pay attention to their distribution. Further studies are needed to investigate inequality of GPs within and between the provinces.


General practitioner; Gini coefficient; health workforces; inequality; public health sector

Conflict of interest statement

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

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