FROM THE BLAME GAME TO LEARNING ABOUT HEALTH SYSTEM PERFORMANCE

Stream: Panel 30 - Public Policy & Social Justice: Public Sector Autonomy and Accountability 
Date: Tuesday, 27 September 2016
Time: 11.30 am – 1.00 pm

Abstract

The performance of health systems with respect to costs, quality of outputs and outcomes, but also access, are prerequisites for both evaluating social justice, as well as maintaining the legitimacy (and sustainability) of these systems. Since the early 1990s Australia, through the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Council, began the process of developing a national health system performance framework. This includes service delivery measures for hospitals and has since been used as a template for national data collections on mental health services. The paper examines and compares the creation of these performance frameworks and their evolution since the 1990s. More specifically, it examines the use of this information for learning about health system performance and setting normative standards about what constitutes good (and sometimes just) performance across states and territories. Drawing from both the literature on collaborative governance and philosophy around epistemic justice, the paper presents a conceptual framework for assessing learning and uses this to identify conditions for learning in Australia’s intergovernmental health system. It applies this framework to interview data collected from government officials working in health and mental health policy and implementation across three states and the Commonwealth

Author

Amanda Smullen (Presenter), ANU
Contact details:
Dr Amanda Smullen
Senior Lecturer
Crawford School of Public Policy
Australian National University