appropriatehealth service or lack of management of existing service to meet the health demandof the future population. Todevelop population projection for the following year, Australian Bureau ofStatistics (2013) has made assumptions about future level of fertility,mortality, internal and overseas migration to the base population.
It isbecause growth or decline in population is determined by those demographicfactors (Bremner, Clifton and Kaneda 2014). However these assumptions may notalways be assured to be certain though it is based on research and opinion fromexperts. Assurance of population projection is affected by estimation ofpresent base population and also the duration of projection which means shorterduration projections are more likely to be accurate than longer durationbecause inaccurate assumption may create compounding effects in inaccuracies ofassumptions (Population Reference Bureau 2005).For projecting health serviceneeds, population projection plays an important role. The rationale behind thisis, in order to develop new services, it is necessary to understand the type ofpopulation for whom those services are being developed and also without properprojection of needs, health service planning is not effective(Divisha 2017). Forexample, for trends like rise in ageing population and accompanying health condition,will affect the type and level of health service required (Department of Health2012). Future need for health services are greatly determined by variousfactors including disease trends and development of new technologies intreatment. One ofthe approach for projecting health service needs can be assessing the trend in growthand decline of demand for health service at the level of geographic, populationand clinical area (Department of Health 2012).
By determining population riskfactors (obesity, smoking, alcoholism) contributing towards health issues,health services can be designed as per projection. Involvement of stakeholders whichcan be service users, providers, government, non- government organisations andindividual, and understanding their role can also aid in approaching demand forhealth service needs in future (Mishra et al 2016). Having better understandingof the population and service environment can provide with information aboutconsumers of the services, their health status and the type of service theyaccess the most (Department of Health 2015) which guide in projecting healthservice needs. There is no specific single, consistent approach for projectinghealth service needs. One of the majorapproach for projecting health service needs can be through collection ofqualitative and quantitative data (Department of Health 2015). Here qualitativedata refers to data gathered through interviews, written document, observationand consultations whereas quantitative data are collected through demographic,epidemiological data, facility and health service usage data and cost and effectivenessof various health services. Qualitative approach gives subjective data whichcan be more accurate as it provides direct response from the service users andproviders.
But this does not mean that quantitative approach is not useful. Infact it provides objective data. Thus qualitative and quantitative datacollection can be considered effective approach in health service needprojection where the demand and supply for services can be determined veryeasily.Accordingto international health facility guidelines 2014, trend extrapolation,benchmarking and population-specific computer modelling are the common approachesof projecting health service needs.
Blackwell encyclopaedia of managementdefines trend extrapolation as technique of forecasting the demand and supplyof resources which are based on set of observations at successive time (Cooper2018). This approach can aid in maintaining equilibrium between the demand andsupply of health service needs, resulting in cost effective delivery ofservices. Benchmarking refers to the process of identifying the best practicefollowed by proposal of best performance needed to bring into action in future(Kay 2007). Here past experience is used to generate best possible performancefor meeting the needs of health services.
Population-specific computermodelling is considered to be most accurate approach for service needprojection where projections are made about population by service type, modesand specialities by healthcare activity and resources (International HealthFacility Guidelines 2014). For this method, satisfactory health access,outcomes and cost for healthcare activity of reference population are made asreference data. This approach identifies the type of service to be delivered todifferent population groups and the mode of service delivery leading to costeffective utilization of health service planning.Guide to health serviceplanning 2015 describes identification of indicators of need as approach forprojecting health service planning. Those needs are: Felt needs (told bypeople), expressed need (identified by service utilization pattern), normativeneed (identified by expert opinion) and comparative need (identified bycomparing services).
In order to assess these needs, it requires to reviewinformation collected through