Measuring Health Output, Productivity and Equity: Future Challenges

Atkinson, A.

January 2010

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Why, whether and how to measure health outputs, productivity and equity in the UK was the focus of the OHE’s 15th Annual Lecture, given by Prof Tony Atkinson. Health was a key aspect of the 2004-5 Review he completed for the Office of National Statistics (ONS), intended to assess existing measures of government output and productivity, and recommend improvements.  In the lecture, Prof Atkinson reviewed why it is important to measure the contributions of health care to improving health.  He cautioned that health cannot be expected to yield the same rate of rate of productivity increase as the economy as a whole and that the importance of health may tempt some to manipulate statistics unfairly. He outlines a set of nine principles intended to help counter this temptation that can be applied now, even as they are being further refined and developed.