Association between efficiency and quality of care of public healthcare facilities: Evidence from Pakistan

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Abstract

Background: Maternal and child health is an important component of the Sustainable Development Goals. Pakistan has one of the worst maternal and neonatal health outcomes in the world. This is despite significant health system investments across the country.
Aims: The objectives of this study are twofold. First, the study estimates the technical efficiency of the public healthcare facilities in Pakistan, defined as the number of obstetric deliveries compared to the number of medical specialists,
nurses, and other health and non-health staff members. Second, the study evaluates the relationship between efficiency and quality of care; the latter is measured in terms of maternal and neonatal mortality.
Materials & Methods: The data were taken from the Pakistan Health Facility Assessment Survey. Efficiency score was calculated for 843 public healthcare facilities, using Stochastic Frontier Analysis. We then used two-stage residual inclusion approach with bootstrapping to evaluate the relationship between efficiency and quality.
Results and Discussion: The average efficiency score was 0.48 (range: 0–1) and none of the public healthcare facilities were on the frontier, implying that efficiency gains can be made across the board. The relationship between efficiency and quality is found to be positive and statistically significant, that is, more efficient healthcare facilities also had lower rates of maternal and neonatal mortality.
Conclusion: We conclude that more efficient public healthcare facilities also had lower mortality rates, probably due to better infrastructure and health system financing

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2022