Equity in resource allocation in the Irish health service. A policy Delphi study.

O'Loughlin, R; Kelly, A; (2004) Equity in resource allocation in the Irish health service. A policy Delphi study. Health policy (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 67 (3). pp. 271-80. ISSN 0168-8510 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2003.07.001

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Resource allocation in the Irish health service, based on historical allocations with incremental increases, is widely believed to be inequitable. Using a three-round policy Delphi survey, which seeks to explore both consensus and disagreement surrounding policy issues, the views of 52 senior health service personnel were sought in order to determine ways to improve equity in resource allocation. Panelists provided several reasons why the current method of resource allocation is inequitable and several suggestions for improving equity. The level of consensus on views was determined by calculating the percentage of ratings in each category based on a series of rating scales. The main suggestion centred around the development and implementation of a needs based resource allocation formula. Panelists reached a high consensus in favour of this but only reached a low consensus as to its feasibility. Potential obstacles identified included methodological difficulties, insufficient resources and resistance from potential losers. These findings highlight concerns about the lack of transparency in the resource allocation process and openness to the development of a more equitable needs based resource allocation model, a move which is becoming more common internationally. Feasibility concerns should not preclude an attempt to begin this process.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 15036815
Web of Science ID: 220019600005
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/6947


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