RDF Health Needs Indices Review

RDF Health Needs Indices Review

(NSW Ministry of Health)

Duration: October 2013 – February 2014


The NSW Ministry of Health engaged Health Policy Analysis (as part of a consortium including the Centre for Health Service Development at the University of Wollongong) to assist in the development of health needs indices (HNIs) for acute care, rehabilitation and extended care, emergency department care, outpatient and primary and community care. These indices are used in the NSW Health Resource Distribution Formula to determine the relative need of local health districts, over and above the influence of the age and sex composition of the resident populations.

What we did

The objectives of the project were to produce new estimates for the acute care and rehabilitation and extended care HNIs, and to develop new HNIs for emergency departments, outpatient services, primary care and community-based services. The project involved an extensive literature review, collation of data from a broad range of sources, extensive modelling and consultation on the results of the modelling. Through the project, the need indices for acute care were updated, and new methods were developed for addressing the treatment of private sector activity and private patient revenue. A new approach to the need index for maternity services was developed. The need index for rehabilitation and extended care services was updated. New need indices were developed for emergency department services, outpatient services, and community health.

Last reviewed: 7 July, 2015

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