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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Right on the money about transparency in delivery of funded services

Andrew Leigh of the Australian National University, writing in today's Australian Financial Review, puts the case about why the publication of hospital (and doctor) performance information would act as a spur to improve, enable the public to make better choices, and would be likely to benefit the poor more than the rich:
"Under the current regime (performance) information is restricted to doctors, nurses and hospital administrators, who naturally share it with their friends. Publishing statistical data on hospital performance would democratise access to information, allowing everyone to see what the insiders already know".
As Leigh says, the same principle underpins the case for publication of information about school performance, and more broadly other tax payer funded services:
"When insiders claim the public can't handle the truth, we should respond that tax payers have a right to receive feedback on the services we fund. The more we can learn from the best the better our public services can become".

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