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Geographic Differences in Hospital Waiting Times

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Abstract

Access to elective surgery in Australian public hospitals is rationed using waiting lists. In this paper we undertake a DiNardo-Fortin-Lemieux reweighting approach to attribute variation in waiting time to clinical need or to discrimination. Using data from NSW public patients in 2004-2005, we find the discrimination effect dominates clinical need especially in the upper tail of the waiting time distribution. We find evidence of favourable treatment of patients who reside in remote areas and discrimination in favour of patients residing in particular Area Health Services. These findings have policy implications for the design of equitable quality targets for public hospitals.

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File URL: http://www.finance.uts.edu.au/research/wpapers/wp166.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney in its series Working Paper Series with number 166.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as: Johar, M., Jones, G., Keane, M., Savage, E. J. and Stavrunova, O., 2012, "Geographic Differences in Hospital Waiting Times", Economic Record, 88(281), 165-181.
Handle: RePEc:uts:wpaper:166

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Web page: http://www.uts.edu.au/about/uts-business-school/finance
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Keywords: Public hospital; waiting time; discrimination; decomposition analysis;

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  1. Hugh Gravelle & Luigi Siciliani, 2008. "Is waiting-time prioritisation welfare improving?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 167-184.
  2. Keane, Michael P, 1994. "A Computationally Practical Simulation Estimator for Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 95-116, January.
  3. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Olena Stavrunova & Oleg Yerokhin, 2011. "An Equilibrium Model of Waiting Times for Elective Surgery in NSW Public Hospitals," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 87(278), pages 384-398, 09.
  5. Meliyanni Johar & Glenn Jones & Michael Keane & Elizabeth Savage & Olena Stavrunova, 2010. "Differences in waiting times for elective admissions in NSW public hospitals: A decomposition analysis by non-clinical factors. CHERE Working Paper 2010/7," Working Papers 2010/7, CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney.
  6. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  7. Luigi Siciliani & Rossella Verzulli, 2009. "Waiting times and socioeconomic status among elderly Europeans: evidence from SHARE," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1295-1306.
  8. Jeremy Hurst & Luigi Siciliani, 2003. "Tackling Excessive Waiting Times for Elective Surgery: A Comparison of Policies in Twelve OECD Countries," OECD Health Working Papers 6, OECD Publishing.
  9. Meliyanni Johar & Elizabeth Savage, 2010. "Do Private Patients have Shorter Waiting Times for Elective Surgery? Evidence from New South Wales Public Hospitals," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 29(2), pages 128-142, 06.
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Cited by:
  1. Suziedelyte, Agne & Johar, Meliyanni, 2013. "Can you trust survey responses? Evidence using objective health measures," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 163-166.

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