Matching patient and physician preferences in designing a primary care facility network

Güneş E., Yaman H., ÇEKYAY B., Verter V.

Journal of the Operational Research Society, vol.65, no.4, pp.483-496, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 65 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1057/jors.2012.71
  • Journal Name: Journal of the Operational Research Society
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.483-496
  • Keywords: access, physician allocation, physician preference, public facility location, Turkey
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper introduces an integer programming model for planning primary care facility networks, which accounts for the interests of different stakeholders while maximizing access to health care. Physician allocation to health-care facilities is explicitly modelled, which allows consideration of physician incentives in the planning phase. An illustrative case study in the Turkish primary care system is presented to show the implications of focusing on patient or physician preferences in the planning phase. A discussion of trade-offs between the different stakeholder preferences and some recommendations for modelling choices to match these preferences are provided. In the context of this case, we found that using an access measure that decays with distance, and incorporating nearest allocation constraints improves performance for all stakeholders. We also show that increasing the number of physicians may have adverse affects on access measures when physician preferences are addressed. © 2014 Operational Research Society Ltd.