Technical efficiency of neonatal health services in primary health care facilities of Southwest Ethiopia: a two-stage data envelopment analysis.

Health Econ Rev 2019 Oct 27;9(1):27. Epub 2019 Oct 27.

Department of Health Policy and Management, Institute of Health, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia.

Background: Disparity in resource allocation is an issue among various health delivery units in Ethiopia. To sufficiently address this problem decision-makers require evidence on efficient allocation of resources. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the technical efficiency of primary health care units providing neonatal health services in Southwest Ethiopia.

Methods: Two-stage data envelopment analysis was conducted based on one-year (2016/17) data from 68 health posts and 23 health centers in Southwest Ethiopia. Primary data were collected from each of the facility, respective district health offices and finance and economic cooperation offices. Technical efficiency scores were calculated using data envelopment analysis software version 2.1. Tobit regression was then applied to identify determinants of technical efficiency. STATA version 14 was used in the regression model and for descriptive statistics.

Results: By utilizing the best combination of inputs, eight health posts (11.76%) and eight health centers (34.78%) were found to be technically efficient in delivering neonatal health services. Compared with others included in the analysis, inefficient health delivery units were using more human and non-salary recurrent resources. The regression model indicated that there was a positive association between efficiency and the health center head's years of experience and the facility's catchment population. Waiting time at the health posts was found to negatively affect efficiency.

Conclusions: Most of health posts and the majority of health centers were found to be technically inefficient in delivering neonatal health services. This indicates issues with the performance of these facilities with regards to the utilization of inputs to produce the current outputs. The existing resources could be used to serve additional neonates in the facilities.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13561-019-0245-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815357PMC
October 2019

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