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Regional efficiency of healthcare services in Saudi Arabia

Wael Mousa and Jehad S. Aldehayyat

Middle East Development Journal, 2018, vol. 10, issue 1, 152-174

Abstract: This study aims to estimate the regional efficiency of healthcare services in Saudi Arabia. A non-parametric methodology, data envelopment analysis (DEA), is applied to evaluate the relative efficiency of 13 Saudi regions in 2014 by using multiple regional inputs and outputs to characterize healthcare provision. This study provides a unique measurement of Saudi regional efficiency since most of the previous studies that applied DEA in Saudi Arabia focused on public hospitals or primary medical services, which work under the supervision of the Ministry of Health. This is one of the first studies in developing and Arab countries in general, and in Saudi Arabia in particular, which focuses on an interregional level, as it divides each region into public and private sectors. The empirical results show that efficiency differs across the selected regions and between the private and public sectors. In general, less developed regions show a relatively high level of efficiency whereas others, such as Makkah and the Eastern regions, seem to be the least efficient regions in both sectors. The study revealed that the Riyadh region, which employs a disproportionately large amount of health resources in comparison with other regions, is efficient in both sectors. The empirical study also finds evidence of the potential to improve health outcomes by ensuring a sufficient level of healthcare resources in the inefficient regions that are lagging behind significantly. Finally, in some regions the public sector was efficient whereas the private sector was not, and vice versa.

Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1080/17938120.2018.1443607

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