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Modelling the dynamics of a public health care system: evidence from time-series data

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Publication details

JournalApplied economics
DateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Aug 2011
DatePublished (current) - Aug 2012
Issue number23
Volume44
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)2955-2968
Early online date22/08/11
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The English National Health Service (NHS) was established in 1948, and
has therefore yielded some long time series data on health system
performance. Waiting time for inpatient care have been a persistent
policy concern since the creation of the NHS. After developing a simple
theoretical framework of the dynamic interaction between key indicators
of health system performance, we investigate empirically the relationship
between hospital activity, waiting time and population characteristics using
aggregate time-series data for the NHS over the period 1952 to 2003.
Structural Vector Autoregression (S-VAR) suggests that in the long run:
higher activity is associated with lower waiting times (elasticity=-0.9); an
increase in the elderly population is associated with higher waiting time
(elasticity=1.3). In the short run, higher lagged waiting time leads to
higher activity (elasticity=0.12). We also find that shocks in waiting times
are countered by higher activity, so the effect is only temporary.

    Research areas

  • waiting times, dynamics, vector auto-regression

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