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

Meliyanni Johar, Glenn Jones (), Michael Keane (), Elizabeth Savage () and Olena Stavrunova ()

No 2012-W11, Economics Papers from Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford

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.

Keywords: Public hospital; waiting time; discrimination; decomposition analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I11 J7 H51 C14 C21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
Date: 2012-10-23
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Related works:
Journal Article: Discrimination in a universal health system: Explaining socioeconomic waiting time gaps (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Discrimination in a Universal Health System: Explaining Socioeconomic Waiting Time Gaps (2011) Downloads
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