Horizontal inequities in Australia's mixed public/private health care system
AbstractRecent comparative evidence from OECD countries suggests that Australia's mixed public-private health system does a good job in ensuring high and fairly equal access to doctor, hospital and dental care services. This paper provides some further analysis of the same data from the Australian National Health Survey for 2001 to examine whether the general finding of horizontal equity remains when the full potential of the data is realized. We extend the common core cross-country comparative analysis by expanding the set of indicators used in the procedure of standardizing for health care need differences, by providing a separate analysis for the use for general practitioner and specialist care and by differentiating between admissions as public and private patients. Overall, our analysis confirms that in 2001 Medicare largely did seem to be attaining an equitable distribution of health care access: Australians in need of care did get to see a doctor and to be admitted to a hospital. However, they were not equally likely to see the same doctor and to end up in the same hospital bed. As in other OECD countries, higher income Australians are more likely to consult a specialist, all else equal, while lower income patients are more likely to consult a general practitioner. The unequal distribution of private health insurance coverage by income contributes to the phenomenon that the better-off and the less well-off do not receive the same mix of services. There is a risk that - as in some other OECD countries - the principle of equal access for equal need may be further compromised by the future expansion of the private sector in secondary care services. To the extent that such inequalities in use may translate in inequalities in health outcomes, there may be some reason for concern.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Health Policy.
Volume (Year): 86 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/healthpol
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Denise Doiron & Glenn Jones & Elizabeth Savage, 2008. "Healthy, wealthy and insured? The role of self-assessed health in the demand for private health insurance," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 317-334.
- Kees van Gool & Elizabeth Savage & Rosalie Viney & Marion Haas & Rob Anderson, 2009. "Who's Getting Caught? An Analysis of the Australian Medicare Safety Net," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 42(2), pages 143-154.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Who reaps the benefits? Rethinking the Medicare Safety Net
by Kees Van Gool, Health economist at University of Technology, Sydney in The Conversation on 2012-02-01 19:30:54
- Mohammad Hajizadeh & Luke B. Connelly & James R.G. Butler & Aredshir Khosravi, 2012. "Unmet need and met unneed in health care utilisation in Iran," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(6), pages 400-422, May.
- repec:eso:journl:v:43:y:2012:i:2:p:227-250 is not listed on IDEAS
- Ma, Chao & Gu, Hai & Li, Jiajia, 2012.
[Urban-Rural Disparities in Health Care]," MPRA Paper 47655, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- E. Xie, 2011. "Income-related inequalities of health and health care utilization," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 131-156, March.
- Layte, Richard & Nolan, Anne, 2013. "Income-Related Inequity in the Use of GP Services: A Comparison of Ireland and Scotland," Papers WP454, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei) or () The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.