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Journal cover: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Online from: 1988

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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Young physicians and the Finnish welfare state

Document Information:
Title:Young physicians and the Finnish welfare state
Author(s):Arttu Saarinen, (Department of Social Policy, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Citation:Arttu Saarinen, (2009) "Young physicians and the Finnish welfare state", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 22 Iss: 2, pp.135 - 144
Keywords:Doctors, Finland, Health services, Social responsibility, Welfare
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09526860910944629 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This article aims to focus on how young physicians in general and different subpopulations, in particular, see the role of the welfare state. The author seeks to compare young physicians' opinions with those of older physicians, a similar age group in the general population and all physicians.

Design/methodology/approach – A random sample was picked from the Finnish Medical Association register (n=1,092). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression analysis.

Findings – Results show that young physicians – when compared with an overall population of the same age, with physicians overall, or with older physicians – are more critical of the degree of social security currently offered. Young physicians also want to give more responsibility to the private sector than do older physicians. On the other hand, young physicians are not very critical of healthcare system functionality. All in all, young physicians' opinions about the welfare state are not particularly radical. Results indicate that physicians' opinions about the welfare state will not change dramatically in the near future. Views on social security, healthcare system functionality and the role of the private sector correlate best with political orientation.

Originality/value – There are some studies about physicians' attitudes towards the welfare state, but the opinions of young physicians have not been studied in countries with large social security systems. The paper addresses this gap because it is important to study young physicians' opinions because future services will be structured on them.

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