Private psychiatry and Medicare: Regional equality of access in Australia?

Williams, RFG and Doessel, DP (2009) Private psychiatry and Medicare: Regional equality of access in Australia?. JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH, 18 3: 242-252. doi:10.1080/09638230802053375


Author Williams, RFG
Doessel, DP
Title Private psychiatry and Medicare: Regional equality of access in Australia?
Journal name JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0963-8237
Publication date 2009-06-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09638230802053375
Open Access Status
Volume 18
Issue 3
Start page 242
End page 252
Total pages 11
Editor Til Wykes
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Language eng
Subject C1
920410 Mental Health
111714 Mental Health
111709 Health Care Administration
Abstract Background: Private psychiatric services are produced and consumed on a fee-for-service FFS basis in Australia. The Commonwealth Government subsidises these and all medical services via Medicare, a universal, comprehensive, tax-financed medical and hospital financing mechanism. A key purpose of Medicare is to improve equality of access to medical services. Aims: To measure the distribution of "access", as measured by utilization, to private FFS psychiatric services at a regional level; and to determine the temporal trend in equality in regional access to these services during the Medicare period. Method: Conventional measures of statistical dispersion and economic inequality the coefficient of variation, Gini coefficient and the Atkinson measure are applied to quarterly time-series data on quantities of private psychiatric services for Australia's regions since 1984. Equations are modelled statistically on the distributional data generated by applying these measures. Lorenz curves are also constructed. Results: The negative sign on the slope coefficients in all estimated equations, i.e., for each measure of the distribution, is statistically significant, but the slope coefficients are nearly zero. Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest relatively intractable movement in alleviating inequality in the private psychiatric services produced and consumed in Australia, at the broad level of the region, during two decades of Medicare subsidies.
Keyword Access
MENTAL-HEALTH EXPENDITURE
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 17:53:37 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Public Health