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Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation

, 3:9

First Online: 27 September 2005Received: 16 May 2005Accepted: 27 September 2005


BackgroundThe Government of Ghana has been implementing various health sector reforms e.g. user fees in public health facilities, decentralization, sector-wide approaches to donor coordination in a bid to improve efficiency in health care. However, to date, except for the pilot study reported in this paper, no attempt has been made to make an estimate of the efficiency of hospitals and-or health centres in Ghana. The objectives of this study, based on data collected in 2000, were: i to estimate the relative technical efficiency TE and scale efficiency SE of a sample of public hospitals and health centres in Ghana; and ii to demonstrate policy implications for health sector policy-makers.

MethodsThe Data Envelopment Analysis DEA approach was used to estimate the efficiency of 17 district hospitals and 17 health centres. This was an exploratory study.

ResultsEight 47% hospitals were technically inefficient, with an average TE score of 61% and a standard deviation STD of 12%. Ten 59% hospitals were scale inefficient, manifesting an average SE of 81% STD = 25%. Out of the 17 health centres, 3 18% were technically inefficient, with a mean TE score of 49% STD = 27%. Eight health centres 47% were scale inefficient, with an average SE score of 84% STD = 16%.

ConclusionThis pilot study demonstrated to policy-makers the versatility of DEA in measuring inefficiencies among individual facilities and inputs. There is a need for the Planning and Budgeting Unit of the Ghana Health Services to continually monitor the productivity growth, allocative efficiency and technical efficiency of all its health facilities hospitals and health centres in the course of the implementation of health sector reforms.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1478-7547-3-9 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Daniel Osei - Selassi d-Almeida - Melvill O George - Joses M Kirigia - Ayayi Omar Mensah - Lenity H Kainyu


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