Are family medicine centres achieving their target in Turkey: Impact on health care utilization of mothers and infants

Aygün A.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/hpm.3079


The family medicine (FM) system was introduced as the main source of primary care in Turkey as a component of the Health Transformation Program reforms. During a gradual implementation process, provinces switched to the FM system at different points in time between 2005 and 2010. In this paper, we use a micro-level data set to test whether the health care utilization of mothers during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period is affected by the program. Using a difference-in-differences method for estimation, we find that the program is only effective for pregnant women who lived in provinces with a limited availability of specialist doctors. As a result of the FM program, women are likely to have their first prenatal consultancy earlier and their probability of seeing a doctor during their prenatal visit and receiving an ultrasound and blood and urine sample checks increases if they live in a province with a low number of specialists per 10,000 people. We find that the impact of the FM program decreases as the rate of specialists in a province increases, which negates any positive effect of the program on health care use.