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

  • 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)

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.

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File URL: http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/2012/DecompositionSEIFA2012.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Economics Papers with number 2012-W11.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 23 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:1211
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/

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  18. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
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  24. Meliyanni Johar & Glenn Jones & Michael Keane & Elizabeth Savage & Olena Stavrunova, 2011. "Waiting times for elective surgery and the decision to buy private health insurance," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(S1), pages 68-86, 09.
  25. Askildsen, Jan Erik & Holmås, Tor Helge & Kaarbøe, Oddvar, 2009. "Prioritization and patients' rights: Analysing the effect of a reform in the Norwegian Hospital Sector," Working Papers in Economics 07/09, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
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