What are the costs associated with child and maternal healthcare within Australia? A study protocol for the use of data linkage to identify health service use, and health system and patient costs

Emily J. Callander, Haylee Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The current literature in Australia demonstrates that there are variations in access and outcomes in perinatal care based on socioeconomic factors. However, little has been done looking at the level of out-of-pocket healthcare costs associated with perinatal care. The primary aim of this project will be to quantify health service use and out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure associated with childbearing and early childhood in Queensland, Australia. Methods and analysis This project will build Australia's first model (called Maternal & Child Cost MOD) of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure by using administrative data from the Queensland Perinatal Data Collection, of all childbearing women and their resultant children, who gave birth in Queensland between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2016. The current costs to the health system and out-of-pocket health care expenditure of patients associated with maternity and early childhood health care will be identified. The differences in costs based on indigenous identification, socioeconomic status and geographic location will be assessed using linear regression modelling and counterfactual modelling techniques. Ethics and dissemination Human Research Ethics approval has been obtained from Townsville Hospital and Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) (HREC Reference number: HREC/16/QTHS/223). Consent will not be sought from participants whose de-identified data will be used in this study. Permission to waive consent has been gained from Queensland Health under the Public Health Act 2005. The results of this study will be disseminated through publications in peer-reviewed journals and through presentations at conferences, regionally and nationally. Our target audience is clinicians, health professionals and health policy-makers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere017816
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • health service use
  • inequities
  • maternal and child health
  • patient costs

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