The development of funding recommendations for health technologies at the state level: A South Australian case study

Robyn Lambert, Drew Carter, Naomi Burgess, Hossein Haji Ali Afzali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: State governments often face capped budgets that can restrict expenditure on health technologies and their evaluation, yet many technologies are introduced to practice through state-funded institutions such as hospitals, rather than through national evaluation mechanisms. This research aimed to identify the criteria, evidence, and standards used by South Australian committee members to recommend funding for high-cost health technologies.

Methods: We undertook 8 semi-structured interviews and 2 meeting observations with members of state-wide committees that have a mandate to consider the safety, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of high-cost health technologies.

Results: Safety and effectiveness were fundamental criteria for decision makers, who were also concerned with increasing consistency in care and equitable access to technologies. Committee members often consider evidence that is limited in quantity and quality; however, they perceive evaluations to be rigorous and sufficient for decision making. Precise standards for safety, effective, and cost-effectiveness could not be identified.

Conclusions: Consideration of new technologies at the state level is grounded in the desire to improve health outcomes and equity of access for patients. High quality evidence is often limited. The impact funding decisions have on population health is unclear due to limited use of cost-effectiveness analysis and unclear cost-effectiveness standards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-822
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • decision making
  • health care rationing
  • health services research
  • health priorities
  • organisational case studies
  • resource allocation


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