While the average number of doctor consultations per capita varies greatly across OECD countries, there are also significant differences among population groups within each country.
In 2013, the number of doctor consultations per person ranged from over 12 in Korea and Japan, to less than three in Mexico, Finland and Sweden, as well as in South Africa and Brazil. The OECD average was about 6.5 consultations per person per year, with most countries reporting between five and eight consultations.
Cultural factors appear to play a role in explaining some of the variations across countries, such as in Sweden, where the low number of doctor consultations may be explained partly by the fact that nurses play an important role in primary care. Also, certain characteristics of health systems may also play a role as demonstrated by the fee for service correlation (countries which pay their doctors mainly by fee-for-service tend to have above-average consultation rates such as in Japan and Korea).