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01.12.2012 | Correspondence | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2012

Differences in primary health care delivery to Australia’s Indigenous population: a template for use in economic evaluations

Zeitschrift:
BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2012
Autoren:
Katherine S Ong, Rob Carter, Margaret Kelaher, Ian Anderson
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1472-6963-12-307) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

IA, although having no financial interest, has previously serviced on the board of an Aboriginal Health Service. The other authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

KO, IA and RC conceptualized the study. KO designed the study with input and coordination from IA, RC and MK. KO and IA developed the data collection methods. KO piloted the data collection methods and collected the data. KO drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

Health economics is increasingly used to inform resource allocation decision-making, however, there is comparatively little evidence relevant to minority groups. In part, this is due to lack of cost and effectiveness data specific to these groups upon which economic evaluations can be based. Consequently, resource allocation decisions often rely on mainstream evidence which may not be representative, resulting in inequitable funding decisions. This paper describes a method to overcome this deficiency for Australia’s Indigenous population. A template has been developed which can adapt mainstream health intervention data to the Indigenous setting.

Methods

The ‘Indigenous Health Service Delivery Template’ has been constructed using mixed methods, which include literature review, stakeholder discussions and key informant interviews. The template quantifies the differences in intervention delivery between best practice primary health care for the Indigenous population via Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs), and mainstream general practitioner (GP) practices. Differences in costs and outcomes have been identified, measured and valued. This template can then be used to adapt mainstream health intervention data to allow its economic evaluation as if delivered from an ACCHS.

Results

The template indicates that more resources are required in the delivery of health interventions via ACCHSs, due to their comprehensive nature. As a result, the costs of such interventions are greater, however this is accompanied by greater benefits due to improved health service access. In the example case of the polypill intervention, 58% more costs were involved in delivery via ACCHSs, with 50% more benefits. Cost-effectiveness ratios were also altered accordingly.

Conclusions

The Indigenous Health Service Delivery Template reveals significant differences in the way health interventions are delivered from ACCHSs compared to mainstream GP practices. It is important that these differences are included in the conduct of economic evaluations to ensure results are relevant to Indigenous Australians. Similar techniques would be generalisable to other disadvantaged minority populations. This will allow resource allocation decision-makers access to economic evidence that more accurately represents the needs and context of disadvantaged groups, which is particularly important if addressing health inequities is a stated goal.
Zusatzmaterial
Additional file 1: Measurement and valuation of Indigenous Health Service Delivery Template components. A table providing more detailed information on the calculation of the IHSD Template values and the sources used. (PDF 41 KB)
12913_2011_2143_MOESM1_ESM.pdf
Authors’ original file for figure 1
12913_2011_2143_MOESM2_ESM.doc
Literatur
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