The distribution of physiotherapists in ontario: understanding the market drivers.
PURPOSE: To understand the factors that affect the distribution of physiotherapists in Ontario by examining three potential influences in the multi-payer physiotherapy (PT) market: population need, critical mass (related to academic health science centres [AHSCs]), and market forces. METHODS: Physiotherapist density and distribution were calculated from 2003 and 2005 College of Physiotherapists of Ontario registration data. Physiotherapists' workplaces were classified as not-for-profit (NFP) hospitals, other NFP, or for-profit (FP), and their locations were classified by census division (CD) types (cities and counties). RESULTS: Physiotherapist density varied significantly and distribution was neither uniformly responsive to population need, nor driven primarily by market forces. The largest factor was an AHSC in a CD; physiotherapists locate disproportionately in NFP hospitals in AHSCs rather than in the growing FP sector. CONCLUSIONS: While some patterns can be discerned in the distribution and densities of physiotherapists across Ontario, further work needs to be done to identify why population need and market forces appear to be less influential, and why CDs with AHSCs are so attractive to physiotherapists. With this additional information, it may be possible to identify ways to influence uneven distribution in the future.
Holyoke, P; Verrier, MC; Landry, MD; Deber, RB
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