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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Meliyanni Johar & Glenn Jones & Michael Keane & Elizabeth Savage & Olena Stavrunova, 2011. "Geographic Differences in Hospital Waiting Times," Working Paper Series 166, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:uts:wpaper:166
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    File URL: http://www.finance.uts.edu.au/research/wpapers/wp166.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keane, Michael P, 1994. "A Computationally Practical Simulation Estimator for Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 95-116, January.
    2. 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, September.
    3. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    4. 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.
    5. Hugh Gravelle & Luigi Siciliani, 2008. "Is waiting-time prioritisation welfare improving?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 167-184.
    6. 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.
    7. Propper, Carol & Sutton, Matt & Whitnall, Carolyn & Windmeijer, Frank, 2010. "Incentives and targets in hospital care: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 318-335, April.
    8. 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, June.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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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.
    2. repec:spr:eujhec:v:19:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10198-017-0889-3 is not listed on IDEAS

    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

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