Hong Kong Med J 2001;7:169-73 | Number 2, June 2001
Efficiency is dependent on the control of supply
SM McGhee, GM Leung, AJ Hedley
Department of Community Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
At a time when health care systems are undergoing reform, it is useful to review the causes of inefficiency in health care, along with potential solutions. Such solutions can affect suppliers (supply-side measures) or users of care (demand-side measures). This paper argues that to have an efficient health care system, supply-side measures must be implemented. Some examples of supply-side measures, with particular relevance to the Hong Kong situation, are discussed. By their nature, supply-side measures require government intervention. Only then, can allocative efficiency, as well as technical efficiency, be achieved. Once a health care system is operating efficiently, it is an easier task to determine whether the system requires more resources, either currently, or in the future.
Key words: Delivery of health care; Efficiency, organizational; Health care reform; Health services needs and demands
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