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Background

Increasing demand for services and rising health care costs create pressures within the Australian health care system and result in higher health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs for consumers.

Objective

To measure changes in consumer views on the quality of the Australian health care system, contributors to rising costs and attitudes towards managing these costs.

Methods

Two computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted in 2006 533 respondents and 2015 1318 respondents and results compared.

Results

More respondents in 2015 rated the Australian health care system ‘very adequate’ than in 2006 22.3% vs 8.3%; Odds Ratio OR 3.2, 99% CI 2.1, 5.1 with fewer ‘concerned’ or ‘fairly concerned’ about the health care costs 69.0% vs 85.7%; OR 0.37, 99% CI 0.25, 0.53. The 2015 respondents were more likely to identify new treatments for cancer 77% vs 65.7%; OR 1.75, 99% CI 1.30, 2.35 and community expectations for access to the latest technologies 73.8% vs 67%; OR 1.39, 99% CI 1.04, 1.86 as contributors to rising health care costs. While more 2015 respondents agreed that patients should pay a greater part of the health care costs, this remained a minority view 37.9% vs 31.7%; OR 1.32, 99% CI 0.99, 1.76. They were less likely to agree that doctors should offer medical treatments regardless of the cost and chance of benefit 63.6% vs 82.9%; OR 0.36, 99% CI 0.25, 0.50.

Conclusions

Satisfaction with the Australian health care system has increased over time. Consumers recognise the cost pressures and have lower expectations that all services should be provided regardless of their costs and potential benefit. Public consultation on the allocation of health care resources and involvement in health care decision-making remains important. There should be community consultation about the principles and values that should guide resource allocation decisions.



Autor: Jane Robertson , David A. Newby , Emily J. Walkom

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/



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