Commissioning in Primary Healthcare: The Rhetoric and the Reality

Paperback - April 2016 - AU $75.00

A special issue providing perspectives on commission from Australia, the UK, New Zealand and China.

There has been a sustained push to introduce market and quasi market mechanisms to improve the quality and efficiency of health and community services over the past 30 years. This has resulted in an emphasis on the separation of planning, regulation and purchasing from the provision of services. In theory this is meant to drive improvement by removing conflict of interest from the system and increasing the potential for competition between service providers. However, in practice this separation of functions has led to new problems and challenges – both for commissioners (those planning and purchasing services) and for service providers. + Full description

With commissioning becoming more prevalent, it is worth reflecting on what has been learnt along the way. The planning, purchasing, management and evaluation functions central to commissioning have been applied in a variety of models. Some approaches have proved more effective and robust than others. This special issue provides perspectives on commissioning from Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and China. It covers conceptual frameworks for commissioning, the history of commissioning and the experience of commissioning in particular jurisdictions and settings. Specific applications of commissioning for general practice, capacity building and community services are also included.

Commissioning is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It may have potential as a mechanism for improving the quality and efficiency of health and community services, but there are many pitfalls and risks. The choices made in how commissioning is developed and implemented in Australia will determine just how many of these are avoided. It is worth learning from past experience.

Visit the Australian Journal of Primary Health home page.

Online edition now available

- Short description


Paperback | April 2016 | $ 75.00
ISBN: PY22/01 | 55 pages
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing