Worth the wait: The impact of government funding on hospital emergency waiting times.
- Elsevier BV
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Health policy (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2020, 124, (12), pp. 1340-1344
- Issue Date:
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In the absence of a price mechanism, emergency department waiting times act as a rationing device to equate demand for treatment with available supply. Sustained increases to demand stemming from population growth, aging populations, and rising comorbidities has caused waiting times internationally to rise. This has resulted in increased calls for higher funding from governments and commitments from both state and national governments to address excessive waiting times. This paper aims to determine the effectiveness of government funding for improving the median waiting times for treatment and the proportion of patients seen within clinically recommended waiting times. For this purpose, an econometric analysis was conducted on a panel of data on Victorian local health networks over the period 2015-2018. This is supplemented with a discussion of the alternative measures which governments might take to both address demand for emergency treatment, and also ensure that waiting time reductions can be maintained over the long-term.
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