Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Sailing without radar: An excursion in resource allocation

Kathy Alexander and Neville Hicks

Australian Health Review 21(2) 76 - 99
Published: 1998


This paper deals with the knowledge base employed in resource allocation. Itdeliberately distinguishes between ?thick-textured? and ?thin-textured? knowledge. Athick-textured view of change in the health sector accounts for the history, civic goodsand variety of human needs and passions which rationalist economics defines out asa thin-textured matter of individual choices in a free market.1 The narrative materialbegins with a discussion of health service policy-making in South Australia andelsewhere in the 1980s and 1990s, then proceeds to a discussion of priority-settingliterature, which we regard as thin-textured. We offer two accounts of approaches tosetting priorities in health care which we think have overcome some of the deficienciesof the thin-textured approach.

© AHHA 1998

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