The health sector reforms and the efficiency of public hospitals in Turkey: provincial markets

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Sulku S. N.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, vol.22, no.5, pp.634-638, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/eurpub/ckr163
  • Page Numbers: pp.634-638


Background: Turkey initiated the 'Health Transformation Programme' (HTP) in 2003 to align its health care system with the European Union and OECD countries. This study investigates the impact of these reforms on the efficiency of public hospitals. Our study would contribute to the existing literature with a comprehensive analysis of the health system in a developing country. Methods: We employ the data envelopment approach and the Malmquist index to comparatively examine before and after the reform years. Our analyses compare the performances of public hospitals served in provincial markets. Inputs of number of beds, number of primary care physician, and number of specialists, and how they are used to produce outputs of inpatient discharges, outpatient visits and surgical operations are investigated. Indeed, as the performance indicators dead rate, hospital bed occupation rate and average length of stay are considered. Results: The HTP was generally successful in boosting productivity due to advancements in technology and technical efficiency but in the socio-economically disadvantaged provinces productivity gains have not been achieved. The average technical efficiency gains took place because of the significantly improved scale efficiencies, as the average pure technical efficiency slightly improved. Lastly, the hospital performance indicators have not improved in the short run. Conclusion: It appears that the expected benefits from the health reforms in Turkey have been partially achieved in the short run.