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Review of publicly-funded bariatric surgery policy in Australia - lessons for more comprehensive policy making


Sharman, M and Hensher, M and Wilkinson, S and Campbell, JA and Venn, AJ, Review of publicly-funded bariatric surgery policy in Australia - lessons for more comprehensive policy making, Obesity Surgery, 26, (4) pp. 817-824. ISSN 1708-0428 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11695-015-1806-4


Background: The objective of the study was to determine the level of guidance provided by or to government health departments across different regions of Australia on publicly funded bariatric surgery.

Methods: Bariatric surgery policies and guidelines were sought from each Australian state (n = 6) and territory (n = 2) government health department and compared in relation to their origins, level of guidance on patient eligibility and priority, as well as recommendations for patient care, including follow-up surgical services. Comparison with national guidelines on bariatric surgery from Australia, the UK and USA was also made.

Results: Five of the eight states and territories had policies or guidelines informing practice. There was little uniformity among regional guidelines and variable consistency with national guidelines (e.g., defining obesity related comorbidity). Recommendations differed on patient eligibility, and none of the state documents mentioned re-operative bariatric or body-contouring surgery. There was limited guidance on prioritisation of eligible patients and gastric banding adjustments. Pre- and post-surgical multidisciplinary care was generally recommended.

Conclusions: Policies and guidelines on publicly funded bariatric surgery are highly variable across Australia and at times inconsistent with national guidelines. Insufficient guidance exists regarding the prioritisation of eligible patients and follow-up surgical services. These findings have implications for policy, research and practice and are particularly important in health service environments with resource constraints and inequitable patient access to services.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:health services, health policy, bariatric surgery, metabolic surgery, obesity
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health care administration
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health policy evaluation
UTAS Author:Sharman, M (Dr Melanie Sharman)
UTAS Author:Campbell, JA (Dr Julie Campbell)
UTAS Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
ID Code:102190
Year Published:2016 (online first 2015)
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-08-04
Last Modified:2018-11-27

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