“A remarkably simple and helpful piece of research.” – Chris Mullin, Chief Economist, UK Department of Health and Social Care

Published in Health Economics, Policy and Law, in their paper, Need, demand, supply in health care: working definitions, and their implications for defining access | Health Economics, Policy and Law | Cambridge Core,work by one of our Prime-HCD colleagues Idaira Rodriguez Santana, and her collaborators from the Centre for Health Economics (CHE) at the University of York, contributes to the need for clear typology of terminology employed in effective policy making across all health care systems.

The authors state their conceptual framework is a tool for:

  • understanding the types of health care that providers supply and patients demand to meet their health care needs.
  • categorising different types of unmet need
  • shedding light on the trade-offs between the elements of need, demand and supply, and informs debate about when access and utilisation occur

In their conclusion Idaira and co-authors state that the proposed working definitions they offer for need, demand, supply and access are intended to provide a conceptual framework for thinking about, organising and potentially monitoring resources to ensure population health care needs are addressed in the most efficient and equitable way for a given set of resource constraints.

Applications in the Real World

Practical applications include:

  1. Informing policy debates: on resource reallocation and the appropriate use of existing health care services and allocation for future demand for health care.
  2. Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement: improving information for patients and the public
  3. Social differences: exploration for how health care and allocation vary by social group or other patient characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, clinical condition.

Chris Mullin’s Verdict

“Health policy is tricky enough. Let’s eliminate confusion. This research is remarkably simple and helpful.”

At Prime we believe that accurate insights and information built on credible scientific knowledge produces better understanding of health care needs. Please reach out to Lesley.piltz@primeglobalpeople.com for further discussions.