Preface

Structure of the report

The first Hospital Utilisation and Costs Study (HUCS 1985-86) consisted of four volumes:

  1. Commentary by Harvey and Mathers
  2. Survey of public hospitals and related data by Mathers and Harvey
  3. Projecting acute hospital demand in 1996 for New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia by Gillett and Harvey
  4. Studies and reports prepared by and for the Australian Institute of Health by Renwick, Stevenson, Staples and Butler.

As these titles suggest, that report not only provided a comprehensive review of institutional health care for 1985-86, it also described trends and considered a number of related issues.

The primary purpose of the HUCS 1987-88 survey is to update the data from the first study. Consequently it provides the data with little analysis and is similar in structure to Volume 2 of HUCS 1985-86. The Institute has provided each health authority with a copy of data from both HUCS surveys for public hospitals within their jurisdiction. These data files are identical in format and can be used for further analysis and for comparison with aggregated data presented in this report.

After the next survey (HUCS 1989-90) is completed, it is expected that the Australian Institute of Health will publish a series of analyses of the data from the three surveys.