Table 1

Comparison of General Practice Use in the Year Before and the Year After Policy Change

Setting and Payment StatusYear Before Policy ChangeYear After Policy Change
All AgesAged <6 yAll AgesAged <6 y
PatientsVisitsPatientsVisitsVisits per PatientPatientsVisitsPatientsVisitsVisits per Patient
Out of pocket15,82839,4572,4156,0532.5115,84239,4191,011a1,753a1.73
Free of charge13,99160,8471,1423,7363.2715,14867,1873,347a10,847a3.24
Out of hours
Out of pocket14,78217,3655,0236,5651.3112,30713,6031,456a1,619a1.11
Free of charge21,55831,6735,0178,4841.6927,56940,70410,824a17,290a1.60
  • a Difference between period before and period after policy change was significant (P <.001).

  • b Total number of patients does not equal sum of those in each payment cohort (out-of-pocket and free-of-charge cohorts) as some patients moved between cohorts during the study and thus may appear in both.