Latest Australian Health Review explores interactions between economics, workforce, treatments and ‘the system’

Monday, June 5, 2017

The June 2017 edition of Australian Health Review (AHR) is one for health system aficionados with an interest in unravelling various economic, workforce, treatment and system interactions, says the AHR’s chief editor, Professor Gary Day.
AHR is the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association’s peer-reviewed academic journal.
‘The health system is an incredibly complex web of activity, and human and economic forces, and academics are increasingly using the available statistics to try to understand specialised parts of it, both from economic and outcomes perspectives.
‘A necessary part of understanding anything as complex as healthcare is having an evaluation framework against which a health program or endeavour can be judged.
‘In this issue, three University of Wollongong authors have described the origins and development of a simple yet comprehensive framework that has proven to be effective in evaluating innovations in health and aged care.’.
‘There are many health professions, particularly allied health professions, but it is hard to assess supply and demand issues because the necessary statistics are difficult to come by. Nevertheless, an Australia-wide research team has taken a look at 27 allied health professions in Victoria and teased out the many common concerns as well as marked differences. It’s useful reading for those trying to get a grip on allied health workforce issues.
‘Similarly, a team from Queensland and South Australia has taken a look at the most common allied health professions in terms of clinical care ratios—that is, the proportion of time spent doing actual clinical care compared to other associated tasks. Unsurprisingly, the more senior you are the less time spent doing clinical work—the beauty of this article is that we can actually put some numbers to that.
‘Another article assesses the effectiveness of subsidies to specialist outreach services in remote areas.
‘An article of current national interest is on rates of growth in emergency department presentations in Australia, which are outpacing population growth considerably. In terms of age groups, the fastest rates of growth by far, if not in terms of raw numbers, are in the 85 and over group.
‘The use of involuntary community treatment orders in mental health is the subject of an insightful study, as is a study of the contribution of mental health and alcohol and drug conditions to major injury trauma.
‘Another insightful and high-interest article looks at the readiness of disadvantaged communities to engage with childhood obesity health initiatives. Money on such things can be simply wasted if the community is, for one reason or another, not ready to listen’, Professor Day said.
‘Also topical is an article on differences in experiences of workplace aggression among female and male medical practitioners in Australia. Broadly, males and females experience similar levels of aggression overall, except for specialists, where females experience more aggression than males.
AHHA is proud to support research through AHR that contributes to the delivery of high quality, efficient and effective health services for all Australians. For more information on AHHA, visit
Find the abovementioned articles and many others by viewing AHR 41(3) here. (Some articles are freely available through open access, while for others a subscription to AHR is needed, or they can be individually purchased.)

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, Primary Health Networks, and community and primary healthcare services.

Media enquiries: Prof. Gary Day, Editor-in-Chief, Australian Health Review, 0422 236 571