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S11: Does China TCM Hospitals Provide Efficient Healthcare to the Nation? Empirical DEA Modeling Study from 2013 to 2018

Poster Presenter

      Qian Bai

      • PhD Candidate
      • University of Macau


To explore whether public county traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) hospitals in China provide health services efficiently, identify the source of inefficiency, and determine marginal contribution of variables to efficiency improvement from temporal-spatial view during 2013 to 2018.


Based on hospital-level panel data from 2013 to 2018, non-oriented super-efficiency SBM DEA model was conducted in MAX DEA. Actual number of staffs (ANS) and beds (ANB) were selected as inputs, while number of outpatient/emergency visits (NOEV), and number of inpatient visits (NIV) as outputs.


Eventually, 990 public county TCM hospitals were reserved as research samples. The average technical efficiency (TE) was 0.3195, which increased from 0.2874 to 0.3753 with fluctuations during 2013 to 2018. For the regional disparity, the average TE score was ranked by the East (0.3457) > the West (0.3453) > the Central (0.2749). In order to reach the optimum state for inefficient hospitals, the average potential reductions in ANS and ANB were 12.06% and 13.31%, and the achievable improvements in NOEV (329.81%) outran that in NIV (14.35%). From regional point, the West had relatively low potential reductions in ANS (10.08%) and ANB (12.11%), as well as limited improvement in NIV (9.64%) comparing with other regions. Meanwhile the achievable improvement in NOEV was evident in the Central (425.50%) and the West (314.17%). The marginal reductions in ANB and ANS contributed to 0.003419 and 0.003130 increase in TE score, respectively, while marginal contributions of output variables were extremely weak, which was also identified in three regions. Among regions, the marginal contributions of ANS and ANB were the greatest in the West with the value of 0.003796 and 0.003591. In the East and Central, the marginal contribution of ANB was slightly higher than that of ANS.


The healthcare services’ efficiency is not satisfactory though presenting slightly upward trends among TCM hospitals in China. The inefficiency is jointly caused by excessive inputs and insufficient outputs, and potential reductions in inputs is found of more marginal benefits towards technical efficient. Regional disparity in hospital efficiency is also identified. The Central performs the worst in efficiency which might need extra attentions in future. More marginal gains would be obtained relying on achievable ANB reductions in the East and the Central, while relying on ANS reductions in the West, which indicates that preferential strategies should be made in accordance with regional development.