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Sources of Productivity Growth in Health Services: A Case Study of Queensland Public Hospitals


Author Info

  • Son Nghiem

    (Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, Qld, 4072, Australia)

  • Tim Coelli

    (Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, Qld, 4072, Australia)

  • Scott Barber

    (Workforce Analysis and Research Unit, Policy, Planning and Resourcing Division, Queensland Health, Level 6, Queensland Health Building, 147-163 Charlotte Street, Brisbane Queensland 4000)


Improving the performance of health sector is one of the most popular issues in Queensland, Australia. This paper contributes to this important policy debate by examining the efficiency of health facilities in Queensland using the Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI). This method is selected because it is suitable for the multi-input, multi-output, and not-for-profit natures of public health services. In addition, with the availability of panel data we can decompose productivity growth into useful components, including technical efficiency changes, technological changes and scale changes. The results revealed an average of 1.6 per cent of growth in total factor productivity (TFP) among Queensland public hospitals in the study period. The main component contribute to the modest improvement of TFP during the period was catching-up at an average of 1.0 per cent. SFA estimates suggest that the number of nurses is the most influential determinant of output.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance in its journal Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP).

Volume (Year): 41 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 37-48

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Handle: RePEc:eap:articl:v:41:y:2011:i:1:p:37-48

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Keywords: Public health services; productivity growth; Queensland;

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