Efficiency analysis in public health organizations in Brazil

Marcelino José Jorge (Evandro Chagas Institute for Clinical Research (IPEC/FIOCRUZ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Frederico A. de Carvalho (Federal University at Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Marina Filgueiras Jorge (National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Renata de Oliveira Medeiros (Evandro Chagas Institute for Clinical Research (IPEC/FIOCRUZ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Daniela de Souza Ferreira (Evandro Chagas Institute for Clinical Research (IPEC/FIOCRUZ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Journal of Modelling in Management

ISSN: 1746-5664

Publication date: 28 June 2013



This paper aims to discuss and collect evidence about the hypothesis that, under imperfect information, the multipurpose public organization emulates its peers, arguing that this hypothesis can be fruitful to the study of this kind of organization.


At IPEC – Instituto de Pesquisa Clínica Evandro Chagas, the clinical research institute affiliated to FIOCRUZ – Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, activities relating to infectious diseases –, e.g. diagnostic exams; outpatient care and patient admissions; teaching and research – are structured in the form of integrated action programs (briefly, PAIs). Taking into account the complexity of this organizational format, this paper applies a mathematical model allowing to define and compute managerial indicators referring to the eight main PAI programs with a view to measure their performance, to investigate whether there are any scale inefficiencies in the eight programs selected as decision‐making units (DMUs) and to assess the effectiveness of the whole organizational structure. To accomplish those objectives, the paper employs the so‐called DEA models with variable returns to scale – whereby two input and seven output variables were used to represent the eight DMUs.


Findings suggest that PAIs related to clinical research operated under increasing returns to scale between 2002 and 2006. To that extent, both the choice of PAIs as an organizational format and the current growth strategy at the Institute may be considered adequate.


This approach is valuable to complement the cost minimization analysis of specific activities of multipurpose organizations and has general application to the overall assessment of performance, structures and strategies in these organizations.



José Jorge, M., de Carvalho, F., Filgueiras Jorge, M., de Oliveira Medeiros, R. and de Souza Ferreira, D. (2013), "Efficiency analysis in public health organizations in Brazil", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 241-254. https://doi.org/10.1108/JM2-03-2010-0015

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