Innovative methodology to guide planning of dental workforce distribution: a GIS-based study in Nepal

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  • Barsha Shrestha
  • Saujanya Karki
  • Estie Kruger
  • Marc Tennant


Objectives: To build a predictive model based on the distribution pattern of dentists and population in selective districts of Nepal. Method:
Cross-sectional descriptive study conducted using secondary data from the census report and available dentist data of Nepal. Population
data were obtained from the most recently available census. For dentists’ data, a literature search was carried out in the databases such
as PubMed, Google scholar, One Search and Medline. All data were extracted from the integrated database in the Geographic Information System (GIS), and a predictive model was built. Results: Overall, there was an uneven distribution of dentists in Nepal. When the
distribution of dentists was compared with the population clusters, it was found that the slope of the population growth was below or
equal to (≤) 20,000 for three provinces (2, 6, and 7), which means that lower numbers of dentists are available with respect to population
density in these provinces. The slope was above 50,000 for province 3, and the number of dentists was almost half of the total nationwide.
The number of dentists correlated with population clusters. Conclusion: There are substantial disparities in the distribution of dentists in
Nepal. Dentists were distributed relative to higher population clusters and were unevenly distributed. The Nepal government should make
necessary arrangements to address the need for the human workforce in resource-limited settings. The methods used in this study could
be applied globally, as the data used are available for most countries.
Keywords: Nepal, Dental Workforce, Dental services, geographic analysis

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