Distribution of Health Human Resources in Turkey in Provincial Level and a Need for More Effective Policy

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Çınaroğlu S.

Hacettepe Sağlık İdaresi Dergisi, vol.24, no.2, pp.235-254, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Journal Name: Hacettepe Sağlık İdaresi Dergisi
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.235-254
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


It will be possible in the society to have access to health care services and to provide quality health care services with effective planning of human resources in health care. Turkey is behind the developed countries in number of health human resources, primarily in terms of number of physicians and nurses, and regional inequalities are evident. Besides, there exists limited number of studies in Turkey in the fields of effective management of health human resources and equity in geographic distribution of health care personnel. For these reasons, there is a need for effective health human resource planning and policy development. Based on this necessity, in this study, it is aimed to examine the grouping of 81 provinces in Turkey with regard to six different health personnel groups, conssists of physicians, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists, other health care professionals. In this occasion, k-means clustering method was used which is one of the crisp clustering techniques and Silhouette values was used as a cluster validity index. Study findings indicate three different groups in which k-means clustering performance is good (Silhouette index value=0.70). Descriptive statistics gathered from clusters indicates there exists inequalities between province groups in terms of distribution of number of health personnel. Study results emphasize the need for revision of health human resource policies by considering inadequacy in number of health personnel and regional disparities to build stronger health systems. Accordingly, while planning health human resources, not only the geographical, population, physical and technical possibilities of the provinces should be taken into consideration, but also the changing dynamics in the supply and demand sides of the service, the expectations and needs of health care professionals, an effective higher education planning, benefiting from modern human resources planning techniques and considering increasing role of the private sector should be taken into account in health human resource planning policies.