The Australian mental health system: An economic overview and some research issues

Williams, Ruth F. G. and Doessel, D. P. (2008) The Australian mental health system: An economic overview and some research issues. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 2 4: 1-12. doi:10.1186/1752-4458-2-4

Author Williams, Ruth F. G.
Doessel, D. P.
Title The Australian mental health system: An economic overview and some research issues
Journal name International Journal of Mental Health Systems   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1752-4458
Publication date 2008-05-14
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1752-4458-2-4
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 2
Issue 4
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Editor I. H. Minas
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject C1
920410 Mental Health
140208 Health Economics
Abstract This article is concerned with the key economic characteristics of Australia's mental health system. First, some brief conceptual and empirical descriptions are provided of Australia's mental health services, both as a total system, and of its two principal components, viz. public psychiatric institutions and private psychiatry services. Expenditures on public psychiatric hospitals clearly demonstrate the effect of deinstitutionalisation. Data from 1984 on private practice psychiatry indicate that per capita utilisation rates peaked in 1996 and have since fallen. Generally, since 1984 gross fees have not risen. However, for both utilisation and fees, there is evidence (of a statistical kind) that there are significant differences between the states of Australia, in these two variables (utilisation and fees). Emphasis is also placed on the economic incentives that arise from health insurance and the heterogeneous nature of mental illness. The effects of these incentives are regarded as by-products of the health insurance mechanism; and another effect, "unmet need" and "met non-need", is a somewhat unique problem of an informational kind. Discussion of many of these issues concludes on a somewhat negative note, e.g. that no empirical results are available to quantify the particular effect that is discussed. This is a manifestation of the lacunae of economic studies of the mental health sector. Related Links
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
ERA 2012 Admin Only
School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 17 Mar 2009, 13:09:07 EST by Carmel Meir on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences