3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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Physicians Imports and Indigenous Health
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Meeting ID: 938 2224 5322
The number of physicians per capita is a key public health indicator. Evaluation of policies that increase the supply of physicians is challenging because the allocation of new physicians is typically not random, and often prioritizes areas with unfavorable health outcomes. The Brazilian Mais Medicos program (MM hereafter), implemented in 2013, has a peculiar design that offers an opportunity for a quasi-experimental evaluation of the impact of physician supply on health outcomes of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon. While the program allocated both Brazilian and Foreign physicians in the entire national territory, Brazilian doctors moved first and had the opportunity to choose, among eligible municipalities, where they wanted to be placed. Foreign doctors were allocated to a residual municipal demand for program doctors. The paper provides empirical evidence that the allocation of foreign doctors to small municipalities of the Amazon was quasi-random, which offers an opportunity to examine short-term effects of an increase of physician supply on health outcomes. Preliminary results suggest that the allocation of foreign doctors increased birth weights of Indigenous newborns in the Amazon.