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Using Data Envelopment Analysis approach to estimate the health production effi ciencies in China

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By using Data Envelopment Analysis approach, we treat the health production system in a certain province as a Decision Making Unit (DMU), identify its inputs and outputs, evaluate its technical efficiency in 1982, 1990 and 2000 respectively, and further analyze the relationship between efficiency scores and social-environmental variables. This paper has found several interesting findings. Firstly, provinces on frontier in different year are different, but provinces far from the frontier keep unchanged. The average efficiency of health production has made a significant progress from 1982 to 2000. Secondly, all provinces in China can be divided into six categories in terms of health production outcome and efficiency, and each category has specific approach of improving health production efficiency. Thirdly, significant differences in health production efficiencies have been found among the eastern, middle and western regions in China, and among the eastern and middle regions. At last, there is significant positive relationship between population density and health production efficiency but negative relationship (not very significant) between the proportions of public health expenditure in total expense and efficiency. Maybe it is the result of inappropriate tendency of public expenditure. The relationship between abilities to pay for health care services and efficiency in urban areas is opposite to that in rural areas. One possible reason is the totally different income and public services treatments between rural and urban residents. Therefore, it is necessary to adjust health policies and service provisions which are specifically designed to different population groups.


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