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Revista Costarricense de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1409-1429


MORERA SALAS, Melvin. Geographic distribution of human resources in primary care in Costa Rica: equity and regional convergente. Rev. costarric. salud pública [online]. 2009, vol.18, n.2, pp.66-71. ISSN 1409-1429.

Objective: To measure the degree of inequality and regional convergence of per capita expenses in the distribution of health workforce between primary health care areas. Material and Methods: Data of health workers and population by health areas were provided by the Public Health Service. The Index of Social Development is data from the Ministry of Economic and National Political Planning. In order to analyze possible geographic inequalities the geographic patterns of per capita cost of health workers were compared, the coefficient of determination of the level of expenses and its rate of growth was estimated, and compared to the Index of Social Development, and an estimate of the Gini coefficient was determined. As an association measurement we used the Pearson correlation and determination coefficient between the Index of Social Development and rate of growth of health workers´ cost. In the convergence analysis we used the coefficient of correlation as a dispersion measurement (sigma convergence analysis). Results: In period 2000-2007 there are geographic patterns of low per capita health workers in the Atlantic zone, Nicaragua’s border and part of the South zone of the country that agrees with zones of low social development. Between 2000 and 2004 the convergence analysis indicates a reduction in the differences in the per capita cost of health workers between health areas. But a high geographic variability persists, consistent with a coefficient of variation around 53% after 2004. Discussion: In order to obtain an equitable geographic access to the primary health care, we recommend that the Index of Social Development becomes a determining variable in the new policies of human resource allocation.

Keywords : Labor Force; Primary Health Care; Equity in Health; Costa Rica.

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