Geographic Differences in Hospital Waiting Times

Meliyanni Johar, Elizabeth Savage*, Olena Stavrunova, Glenn Jones, Michael Keane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Access to elective surgery in Australian public hospitals is rationed using waiting lists. In this article, 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-181
Number of pages17
JournalEconomic Record
Issue number281
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


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