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

Author

Listed:
  • Meliyanni Johar

    (Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology, Sydney)

  • Glenn Jones

    (Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology, Sydney)

  • Michael P. Keane

    () (Nuffield College, University of Oxford)

  • Elizabeth Savage

    () (Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology, Sydney)

  • Olena Stavrunova

    () (Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology, Sydney)

Abstract

One of the core goals of a universal health care system is to eliminate discrimi- nation on the basis of socioeconomic status. We test for discrimination using patient waiting times for non-emergency treatment in public hospitals. Waiting time should re ect patients' clinical need with priority given to more urgent cases. Using data from Australia, we nd evidence of prioritisation of the most socioeconomically advantaged patients at all quantiles of the waiting time distribution. These patients also bene t from variation in supply endowments. These results challenge the universal health system's core principle of equitable treatment.

Suggested Citation

  • Meliyanni Johar & Glenn Jones & Michael P. Keane & Elizabeth Savage & Olena Stavrunova, 2012. "Discrimination in a universal health system: Explaining socioeconomic waiting time gaps," Economics Papers 2012-W11, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:1211
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    File URL: http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/2012/DecompositionSEIFA2012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carlsen, Fredrik & Kaarboe, Oddvar Martin, 2015. "The relationship between educational attainment and waiting time among the elderly in Norway," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(11), pages 1450-1458.
    2. Gutacker, Nils & Siciliani, Luigi & Cookson, Richard, 2016. "Waiting time prioritisation: Evidence from England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 140-151.
    3. MAZEIKAITE Gintare & O'DONOGHUE Cathal & SOLOGON Denisa, 2017. "Decomposing health inequality in the EU," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-02, LISER.
    4. Andrew M. Jones & Roberto Zanola, 2015. "Does the law of one price hold in non-standard investment markets? Why selling picasso in New York is differents," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-04-2015, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised May 2015.
    5. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1454-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Ocloo, Janet Exornam & Siawor-Robertson, Diana, 2015. "Ethnic diversity makes me sick! An examination of ethnic diversity’s effect on health outcomes," EconStor Preprints 123721, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    7. Jakobsson, Niklas & Kotsadam, Andreas & Syse, Astri & Øien, Henning, 2016. "Gender bias in public long-term care? A survey experiment among care managers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PB), pages 126-138.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public hospital; waiting time; discrimination; decomposition analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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