There has long been a perception that health services could be operating more efficiently. Concern over efficiency arises because health service resources are scarce, and given those scarce resources, health services cannot meet all the demands and needs of the population they serve. Some of those demands and needs will therefore go unmet, irrespective of how, when, where and to whom health services are provided. Inefficiency in the provision of health services will then result in greater levels of unmet need in the community and poorer levels of population health.