[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.211.82.105. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
December 25, 1996

The Australian Health Care SystemAre the Incentives Down Under Right Side Up?

Author Affiliations

From the General Internal Medicine Division, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Los Angeles, Calif (Dr Peabody); RAND, Santa Monica, Calif (Dr Peabody); University of California School of Public Health, Los Angeles (Dr Bickel); and the School of Health Services Management, University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia (Dr Lawson).

JAMA. 1996;276(24):1944-1950. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540240022014
Abstract

AFTER EXAMINING the Australian health care system, readers should recall George Bernard Shaw's comment about 2 countries separated by a common language. The statement is more than just poetic when the subject is health. Any comparison of the United States with Australia is facilitated by a familiar nomenclature, a shared heritage, and a similar practice of medicine. The mortality and morbidity rates in the 2 countries are comparable. In addition, the existence of parallel public and private financing of services in both countries leaves an overall impression that little distinguishes Australia from the United States.

Despite comparable outcomes and similar revenue sources, there are marked differences in the organization, funding, and delivery of health care in the 2 countries. Australia's system is financed by public and private sources that are designed to operate in parallel, while costs are regulated by a combination of global hospital budgets, strict fee schedules, and

×