• Open Access

The emperor's quality clothes: for goodness' sake, let's take the strain off the word quality!

Authors

  • Gavin Mooney

    Corresponding author
    1. Social and Public Health Economics Research Group (SPHERe), Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney, New South Wales
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Professor of Health Economics, Social and Public Health Economics Research Group (SPHERe), Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney, NSW 2006. Fax (02) 9351 7420; e-mail: gavinm@pub.health.usyd.edu.au

Abstract

Quality is a much used word in health care. It clearly has positive connotations. Yet there is less than clarity in the literature as to what it means. This article suggests that quality has to have something to do with ‘goodness’ and indeed ‘betterment’. It then argues that it follows that quality cannot be defined before we have sorted out ‘good’ and ‘better’. The author appeals for these terms to be defined.

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