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Hospital care expenditure is the most significant cost driver in the health care sector. Reductions in public hospitals' expenses are among the principal austerity measures included in the memorandum recommendations. However, health policy decision-making seems to be a political rather than a technical issue.
The aim of this paper is to assess performance by using Data Envelopment Analysis(DEA) among homogeneous specialties in the General Medicine(GM) and surgical clinics, across all hospitals operating in the Regional Health Authority of Thessaly(RHAT), over the period of 2002-2006.
Two output-oriented DEA models have been adapted, separated in homogeneous GM and surgical clinics, for both constant(CRS) and variable returns to scale(VRS). The unit of analysis is the clinic. A total of 175 decision-making units(DMUs) have been composed. The number of inpatients and inpatient days are considered as outputs whereas the number of the personnel employed and beds as labour and capital inputs respectively.
Highest efficiency scores overtime were achieved by the GM clinics of the University District Hospital of Larissa. In surgical specialties, the ophthalmology clinic of the general hospital(GH) of Larissa and the urology of GH of Karditsa achieved the highest efficiency scores. Inefficiencies among GM and surgical clinics per year were also found. Both homogeneous groups followed similar trends in the curves. Five GM and ten surgical DMUs under both VRS and CRS remained fully efficient.
The economic crisis Greece is facing, necessitates the assessment of National Health System(NHS) hospitals' performance in order to support health policy decision-making and resources allocation.