Department of Political Science

Mickael Bech

Dual practitioners are as engaged in their primary job as their senior colleagues

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Introduction: Dual practice – the combination of a public hospital job with a job held in private health care – is often a source of controversy. Physicians involved in dual practice (dual practitioners) are believed to provide less work input in their public employment than physicians who are not involved in dual practice (single practitioners). This paper compares work behaviour of dual and single practitioners in the public hospitals. We focus on senior physicians in anaesthesiology and surgery.Material and methods: Data were collected in a survey of public hospital physicians in Denmark. Bivariate analyses – two-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Fisher’s exact tests – were used to test for differences between dual and single practitioners.Results: The sample represents 45% of senior public hospital physicians in 2008. Dual and single practitioners did not differ significantly in terms of the average length of work week, participation in non-mandatory activities or duties outside normal working hours, including duties accepted with short notice. Furthermore, no significant differences were ascertained in their preferences for working hours or turnover intention (i.e. their intention to leave the current workplace) for their public hospital positions. The two groups also did not differ significantly in terms of scholarly activity, viz. the number of research projects in which they participated or the number of publications issued.Conclusion: The revealed profile of a dual practitioner is significantly different from that suggested in the current debate. The findings suggest that the dual practice implications for the functioning of the public health-care system are less problematic than expected.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Pages (from-to)A4375
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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