Effects of remoteness and rurality on hospital costs
Fernandes, P. and Scott, A. (HERU)
The aim of this research was to examine the role of remoteness and rurality in influencing the costs of providing hospital services in Scotland. In addition to reasons of economies of scale, issues such as high labour costs and delayed discharges may contribute to the higher costs of hospitals in remote and rural areas. This project used panel data on hospital and specialty costs, on delayed discharges and on labour costs. Rurality has an effect on hospital costs, independent of diseconomies of scale and hospital characteristics. Hourly wages of medical staff were found to be higher in urban areas, reflecting higher living costs, and ruling out the role of wages in higher hospital costs in rural areas. One contributing factor to higher hospital costs in rural areas was delayed discharges.
Fernandez, P. The effects of rurality and remoteness on hospital costs in Scotland. University of Aberdeen. 2009.