The objective of this paper is to show how a simple but powerful simulation model can be build up using standard spreadsheet program and used to simulate future, needs and supply of physicians in order to inform policy makers at national level when deciding on enrollment to medical schools and immigration quotas for physicians. The Republic of Croatia is facing a serious shortage of physicians in the healthcare system and simulation results have shown that the gap between needs and supply will even increase if current enrollment qoutas to medical schools would persist. Increasing enrollment quotas, adjusting immigration policy, re-directing physicians from other professions to the healthcare system, task shift and skill mix options are just some of the measures needed to be taken promptly in order to prevent a huge deficit of physicians in the future. Simulation modeling is certainly a method for predicting changes within healthcare systems with a possibility to examine multiple different scenarios and suggest interventions.
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