State Health Manpower Planning

A Policy Overview

by Jan Paul Acton, Robert A. Levine


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Suggested approach to state health manpower planning within the context of uncertain demand and incomplete supply. Rather than attempting to estimate future health manpower imprecisely, the emphasis of this report is on planning and manipulating the supply of health personnel without precise estimates of supply and demand. The key to this planning is the recognition of imprecision in (1) estimates of demand for medical care, (2) predictions of future medical production functions, and (3) advance estimates of the results of policy decisions. As a result of this imprecision, planning must be flexible enough to meet uncertainty. Instead of concentrating on the existing supply to meet long-run demands, health planning should design supply systems that can respond rapidly to changes in demand or to firmly based short-run predictions of demand change. Existing literature on health manpower location is reviewed and its application to the state of Illinois is discussed for the availability of physicians, nurses, and allied health personnel.

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