In June 2001, the regular general practitioner scheme (Fastlegeordningen) was introduced in Norway. All inhabitants were offered the right to register with a general practitioner (GP) as their regular physician. In the patient-list system, the inhabitants have the right to switch GP up to twice per calendar year. This thesis examines which individual characteristics are associated with the decision to switch GP. The expectation is that the individuals are heterogeneous with regard to their switching behavior. By means of probit regression analysis, this thesis explores how the individuals’ probability of switching GP varies by socioeconomic characteristics and the health status of the individual, as well as the GP competition in the municipalities. Findings include a significantly negative effect of age and income level on the probability of switching GP. Findings show that gender, education level, self-assessed health status, and GP capacity at the municipality level are the factors that influence who switch GP.
Key words: patient heterogeneity; switching GP; patient-list