Introduction: Inequality is prevalent in all sectors, particularly in distribution of and access to resources in the health sector. The aim of current study was to investigate the distribution of physicians and hospital beds in Iran in 2001, 2006 and 2011.
Methods: This retrospective, cross-sectional study evaluated the distribution of physicians and hospital beds in 2001, 2006 and 2011 using Gini coefficient and Lorenz curve. The required data, including the number of physicians (general practitioners and specialists), number of hospital beds and number of hospitalized patients were obtained from the statistical yearbook of Iranian Statistical Center (ISC). The data analysis was performed by DASP software.
Results: The Gini Coefficients for physicians and hospital beds based on population in 2001 were 0.19 and 0.16, and based on hospitalized patients, were 0.48 and 0.37, respectively. In 2006, these values were found to be 0.18 and 0.15 based on population, and 0.21 and 0.21 based on hospitalized patients, respectively. In 2011, however, the Gini coefficients were reported to be 0.16 and 0.13 based on population, and 0.47 and 0.37 based on hospitalized patients, respectively. Although distribution status had improved in 2011compared with 2001 in terms of population and number of hospitalized patients, there was more inequality in distribution based on the number of hospitalized patients than based on population.
Conclusion: This study indicated that inequality in distribution of physicians and hospital beds was declined in 2011 compared with 2001. This distribution was based on the population, so it is suggested that, in allocation of resource, the health policymakers consider such need indices as the pattern of diseases and illness-prone areas, number of inpatients, and mortality.