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The number of generalist medical practitioners (or ‘generalists’) in relation to population varied noticeably across the EU Member States in 2020.

Generalists have to be licensed to practise, and of those, only practising generalists provide care directly to patients. Other licensed generalists may work in research or administration, or be unemployed.

Among the Member States for which data on practising generalists are available, two reported more than 150 per 100000 inhabitants; Ireland with 188 and the Netherlands with 178. A higher ratio of generalists was recorded in Portugal – 292 per 100000 – based on the number of generalist medical practitioners licensed to practice.

At the other end of the scale, the lowest ratio of generalist medical practitioners was recorded in Poland (42 per 100000; 2017 data), Greece (44 based on generalist medical practitioners licensed to practice; 2019 data) and Bulgaria (60).

This information comes from data on healthcare resources published by Eurostaton July 12, 2022. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

Methodological notes: 

  • This article concerns practising generalist medical practitioners providing direct care to patients. For Greece and Portugal, the data available concern generalist medical practitioners licensed to practice. This includes doctors in administrative, academic or research functions that are not providing direct care to patients, as well as unemployed physicians.
  • Slovakia: data not available.
  • Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Sweden, Iceland: data refer to 2019 instead of 2020.
  • Finland: data refer to 2018 instead of 2020.
  • Luxembourg and Poland: data refer to 2017 instead of 2020.