The response of health systems to after-hours primary cares in Iran and the selected countries

Morteza Salemi, Aidin Aryankhesal, Mehdi Jafari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: After-hours primary care often involves care required for medical conditions managed outside hospitals by a general practitioner. After-hours care aims at meeting the urgent needs of patients who cannot wait to visit their general practitioner in office hours. Aim: The present study aims at comparing the after-hours primary cares in Iran, Turkey, the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Method: This is a descriptive-comparative study comparing after-hours primary cares in Iran and selected countries in 2019. Considering the research purpose, data pertaining to each country were collected from valid information sources and the countries were compared based on the comparative table. A framework analysis was used for data analyses. Results: The results were stated regarding the model type, dominant model, payments mechanism, the support of insurance organizations, service tariffs, private sector participation, and participation of primary care general practitioners in each country. Conclusions: Different countries are using diverse policies to enhance patients' access to general practitioners in out-of-office hours. In Iran, however, due to the lack of specific policies to access after-hour primary cares, people have to use expensive hospital and private cares. An essential step in solving this problem is the availability of general practitioner services at primary care level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1899-e1908
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Issue number4
Early online date16 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • after-hours primary care
  • general practitioner
  • out-of-hours medical care
  • urgent needs

Cite this