More or less equal? Comparing Australian income-related inequality in self-reported health with other industrialised countries.
Clarke P., Smith L.
OBJECTIVE: To measure the distribution of self-reported health by income in order to compare the level of health inequality in Australia with other industrialized countries. METHOD: Using data from the two National Health Surveys undertaken in 1989-90 and 1995, concentration indexes were calculated to quantify the distribution of self-reported health by equivalent income. The concentration index for Australia was compared with those reported for nine industrialized countries in Europe and North America. RESULTS: The estimated income-related concentration indexes were -0.1172 in 1989-90 and -0.1094 in 1995. CONCLUSION: The level of health inequality is not significantly different from the US or the UK, but significantly greater than seven other European nations. IMPLICATIONS: Australia has significant income related health inequalities and the distribution of health appears to be more unequal than in many other industrialized nations. There is a need to further investigate and quantify those features of the anglophone societies that set them apart from some other industrialized nations.