Democratising data to address health system inequities in Australia

Topp, Stephanie M., Thompson, Fintan, Johnston, Karen, Smith, Deborah, Edelman, Alexandra, Whittaker, Maxine, Rouen, Christopher, Moodley, Nishila, McDonald, Malcolm, Barker, Ruth, and Larkins, Sarah (2023) Democratising data to address health system inequities in Australia. BMJ Global Health, 8. e012094.

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Understanding the health status of a population or community is crucial to equitable service planning. Among other uses, data on health status can help local and national planners and policy makers understand patterns and trends in current or emerging health and well-being, especially how disparities relating to geography, ethnicity, language and living with disability influence access to services. In this practice paper we draw attention to the nature of Australia’s health data challenges and call for greater ‘democratisation’ of health data to address health system inequities. Democratisation implies the need for greater quality and representativeness of health data as well as improved access and usability that enable health planners and researchers to respond to health and health service disparities efficiently and cost-effectively. We draw on learnings from two practice examples, marred by inaccessibility, reduced interoperability and limited representativeness. We call for renewed and urgent attention to, and investment in, improved data quality and usability for all levels of health, disability and related service delivery in Australia.

Item ID: 78934
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2059-7908
Keywords: Health policy, Health systems, Health systems evaluation, Public Health
Copyright Information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC GNT1173004
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2023 00:46
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420308 Health informatics and information systems @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200206 Health system performance (incl. effectiveness of programs) @ 100%
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