Myths of ideal hospital occupancy

Christopher A. Bain, Peter G. Taylor, Geoff McDonnell, Andrew Georgiou

Research output: Contribution to journalShort SurveyOtherpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


• Significant problems in health care, such as access block and long waiting lists for elective surgery, have led to calls for keeping hospital occupancy at no more than 85%. • It is elementary queueing theory that a finite-capacity system with variable demand cannot sustain both full utilisation and full availability. • However, the statement that there is a single level of ideal or safe occupancy suitable for all situations is a simplistic interpretation and application of the underlying science. • We argue that specific study and action are necessary to understand and deal with the problems of long waiting lists and access block in any given health care facility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-43
Number of pages2
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

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