The purpose of this paper is to examine the relative efficiency and productivity of hospitals during the health reform process.
Data envelopment analyses method (DEA) with the input‐oriented variable‐returns‐to‐scale model was used to calculate efficiency scores. Malmquist total factor productivity index approach was then employed to calculate productivity of hospitals. Data of 101 hospitals was extracted from databases of the Ministry of Health, Vietnam from the years 1998 to 2006.
There was evidence of improvement in overall technical efficiency from 65 per cent in 1998 to 76 per cent in 2006. Hospitals' productivity progressed around 1.4 per cent per year, which was mainly due to the technical efficiency improvement. Furthermore, provincial hospitals were more technically efficient than their central counterparts and hospitals located in different regions performed differently.
The paper provides an insight in the performance of Vietnamese public hospitals that has been rarely examined before and contributes to the existing literature of hospital performance in developing countries
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