Efficiency of Public Hospitals in Thailand: in Search of a Cost Efficient Frontier ประสิทธิภาพของโรงพยาบาลของรัฐในประเทศไทยการค้นหาหน่วยงานที่บริหารต้นทุนอย่างมีประสิทธิภาพ

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Direk Patmasiriwat


    This paper reports a comparative study on cost efficiency of public hospitals in Thailand under the Ministry of Public Health, based on 711 sampled hospitals classified under i) regional hospitals, ii) provincial hospitals, iii) community hospitals. Two methods of data analysis are: stochastic cost frontier and data envelopment analysis. Our findings indicate: an average efficiency score for the regional hospitals were found to be 94%, compared with 64% for provincial hospitals, and 81% for community hospitals. Of note was that there were signs of underutilization of resources in many public hospitals as indicated in the graphical analysis that showed a pattern of decreasing unit cost.  These also imply there are scope for cost savings, e.g., by raising utilization rates. Our results should however be considered preliminary as our model might unintentionally contained weaknesses, for instances, certain types of hospital services were not counted as “outputs”, and being located in special environments, e.g., on island or the remote areas with sparse population.  Despite the high unit cost, there are justifications for hospital on ground of social objectives.


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