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Discrimination in a universal health system: Explaining socioeconomic waiting time gaps

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  • Michael Keane
  • Meliyanni Johar
  • Glenn Jones
  • Elizabeth Savage
  • Olena Stavrunova

Abstract

One of the core goals of a universal health care system is to eliminate discrimination on the basis of socioeconomic status.� We test for discrimination using patient waiting times for non-emergency treatment in public hospitals.� Waiting time should reflect patients' clinical need with priority given to more urgent cases.� Using data fro Australia, we find evidence of prioritisation of the most socioeconomically advantaged patients at all quantiles of the waiting time distribution.� These patients also benefit from variation in supply endowments.� These results challenge the universal health system's core principle of equitable treatment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 2012-W11.

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Date of creation: 26 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:2012-w11

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Keywords: Public hospitals; waiting time; discrimination; decomposition analysis;

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