Health systems and sustainability: Doctors and consumers differ on threats and solutions

Jane Robertson, Emily J. Walkom, David A. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Healthcare systems face the problem of insufficient resources to meet the needs of ageing populations and increasing demands for access to new treatments. It is unclear whether doctors and consumers agree on the main challenges to health system sustainability. Methodology: We conducted a mail survey of Australian doctors (specialists and general practitioners) and a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) of consumers to determine their views on contributors to increasing health care costs, rationing of services and involvement in health resource allocation decisions. Differences in responses are reported as odds ratios (OR) and 99% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Of 2948 doctors, 1139 (38.6%) responded; 533 of 826 consumers responded (64.5% response). Doctors were more concerned than consumers with the effects of an ageing population (OR 3.0; 99% CI 1.7, 5.4), and costs of new drugs and technologies (OR 5.1; CI 3.3, 8.0), but less likely to consider pharmaceutical promotional activities as a cost driver (OR 0.29, CI 0.22, 0.39). Doctors were more likely than consumers to view 'community demand' for new technologies as a major cost driver, (OR 1.6; 1.2, 2.2), but less likely to attribute increased costs to patients failing to take responsibility for their own health (OR 0.35; 0.24, 0.49). Like doctors, the majority of consumers saw a need for public consultation in decisions about funding for new treatments. Conclusions: Australian doctors and consumers hold different views on the sustainability of the healthcare system, and a number of key issues relating to costs, cost drivers, roles and responsibilities. Doctors recognise their dual responsibility to patients and society, see an important role for physicians in influencing resource allocation, and acknowledge their lack of skills in assessing treatments of marginal value. Consumers recognise cost pressures on the health system, but express willingness to be involved in health care decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19222
JournalPLoS One
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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physicians
Sustainable development
Odds Ratio
Health
Costs and Cost Analysis
odds ratio
Confidence Intervals
Costs
Resource Allocation
confidence interval
Delivery of Health Care
health services
Health Care Rationing
Health care
resource allocation
Resource allocation
Technology
Physician's Role
Drug Costs
Aging of materials

Cite this

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title = "Health systems and sustainability: Doctors and consumers differ on threats and solutions",
abstract = "Background: Healthcare systems face the problem of insufficient resources to meet the needs of ageing populations and increasing demands for access to new treatments. It is unclear whether doctors and consumers agree on the main challenges to health system sustainability. Methodology: We conducted a mail survey of Australian doctors (specialists and general practitioners) and a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) of consumers to determine their views on contributors to increasing health care costs, rationing of services and involvement in health resource allocation decisions. Differences in responses are reported as odds ratios (OR) and 99{\%} confidence intervals (CI). Results: Of 2948 doctors, 1139 (38.6{\%}) responded; 533 of 826 consumers responded (64.5{\%} response). Doctors were more concerned than consumers with the effects of an ageing population (OR 3.0; 99{\%} CI 1.7, 5.4), and costs of new drugs and technologies (OR 5.1; CI 3.3, 8.0), but less likely to consider pharmaceutical promotional activities as a cost driver (OR 0.29, CI 0.22, 0.39). Doctors were more likely than consumers to view 'community demand' for new technologies as a major cost driver, (OR 1.6; 1.2, 2.2), but less likely to attribute increased costs to patients failing to take responsibility for their own health (OR 0.35; 0.24, 0.49). Like doctors, the majority of consumers saw a need for public consultation in decisions about funding for new treatments. Conclusions: Australian doctors and consumers hold different views on the sustainability of the healthcare system, and a number of key issues relating to costs, cost drivers, roles and responsibilities. Doctors recognise their dual responsibility to patients and society, see an important role for physicians in influencing resource allocation, and acknowledge their lack of skills in assessing treatments of marginal value. Consumers recognise cost pressures on the health system, but express willingness to be involved in health care decision making.",
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Health systems and sustainability : Doctors and consumers differ on threats and solutions. / Robertson, Jane; Walkom, Emily J.; Henry, David A.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 6, No. 4, e19222, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Health systems and sustainability

T2 - Doctors and consumers differ on threats and solutions

AU - Robertson, Jane

AU - Walkom, Emily J.

AU - Henry, David A.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Background: Healthcare systems face the problem of insufficient resources to meet the needs of ageing populations and increasing demands for access to new treatments. It is unclear whether doctors and consumers agree on the main challenges to health system sustainability. Methodology: We conducted a mail survey of Australian doctors (specialists and general practitioners) and a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) of consumers to determine their views on contributors to increasing health care costs, rationing of services and involvement in health resource allocation decisions. Differences in responses are reported as odds ratios (OR) and 99% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Of 2948 doctors, 1139 (38.6%) responded; 533 of 826 consumers responded (64.5% response). Doctors were more concerned than consumers with the effects of an ageing population (OR 3.0; 99% CI 1.7, 5.4), and costs of new drugs and technologies (OR 5.1; CI 3.3, 8.0), but less likely to consider pharmaceutical promotional activities as a cost driver (OR 0.29, CI 0.22, 0.39). Doctors were more likely than consumers to view 'community demand' for new technologies as a major cost driver, (OR 1.6; 1.2, 2.2), but less likely to attribute increased costs to patients failing to take responsibility for their own health (OR 0.35; 0.24, 0.49). Like doctors, the majority of consumers saw a need for public consultation in decisions about funding for new treatments. Conclusions: Australian doctors and consumers hold different views on the sustainability of the healthcare system, and a number of key issues relating to costs, cost drivers, roles and responsibilities. Doctors recognise their dual responsibility to patients and society, see an important role for physicians in influencing resource allocation, and acknowledge their lack of skills in assessing treatments of marginal value. Consumers recognise cost pressures on the health system, but express willingness to be involved in health care decision making.

AB - Background: Healthcare systems face the problem of insufficient resources to meet the needs of ageing populations and increasing demands for access to new treatments. It is unclear whether doctors and consumers agree on the main challenges to health system sustainability. Methodology: We conducted a mail survey of Australian doctors (specialists and general practitioners) and a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) of consumers to determine their views on contributors to increasing health care costs, rationing of services and involvement in health resource allocation decisions. Differences in responses are reported as odds ratios (OR) and 99% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Of 2948 doctors, 1139 (38.6%) responded; 533 of 826 consumers responded (64.5% response). Doctors were more concerned than consumers with the effects of an ageing population (OR 3.0; 99% CI 1.7, 5.4), and costs of new drugs and technologies (OR 5.1; CI 3.3, 8.0), but less likely to consider pharmaceutical promotional activities as a cost driver (OR 0.29, CI 0.22, 0.39). Doctors were more likely than consumers to view 'community demand' for new technologies as a major cost driver, (OR 1.6; 1.2, 2.2), but less likely to attribute increased costs to patients failing to take responsibility for their own health (OR 0.35; 0.24, 0.49). Like doctors, the majority of consumers saw a need for public consultation in decisions about funding for new treatments. Conclusions: Australian doctors and consumers hold different views on the sustainability of the healthcare system, and a number of key issues relating to costs, cost drivers, roles and responsibilities. Doctors recognise their dual responsibility to patients and society, see an important role for physicians in influencing resource allocation, and acknowledge their lack of skills in assessing treatments of marginal value. Consumers recognise cost pressures on the health system, but express willingness to be involved in health care decision making.

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U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0019222

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0019222

M3 - Article

VL - 6

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 4

M1 - e19222

ER -