Challenges in health policy: the next 10 years

Julie A Halton
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.11059
Published online: 20 January 2014

To the Editor: I read with interest Penington’s summary of the challenges in Australian health policy heading into the next decade. In particular, I note the view that monitoring of hospital performance uses criteria that, while useful for providing figures for the government, do not adequately assess the quality of services or care.1 Counterintuitively, these criteria, such as waiting lists and emergency department waiting times, appear to be achievable by health services that may not provide high-quality care.2 Australian health care seems to be following the lead of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, where it has been suggested that quality-of-care markers are chosen mostly for ease of measurement from hospital incidence data.3

  • Julie A Halton

  • Emergency Department, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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