East-west: does it make a difference to hospital efficiencies in Ukraine?
Ukraine's history has given it a split personality (e.g. divergent cultural influences on economic and managerial behavior), as was observed in the recent political developments both prior to and following the December 2004 elections. Eastern regions were heavily influenced by Russo-Soviet rule, while western regions have more of a European outlook. This study, which is largely exploratory, compares recent trends in hospital efficiency in Ukraine to see if this split personality manifests itself in differential rates of improvement. Given the inflexibility of Soviet-style planned economies, it is hypothesized that western regions will show greater improvement in economic efficiency that can be attributed to higher levels of managerial and medical entrepreneurship. Data for this study comes from three oblasts (i.e. geopolitical regions), one in the west and two in the east, spanning from 1997 to 2001. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) was used to estimate technical efficiency for the hospitals. After correcting for bias, a second-stage Tobit regression was estimated. Results indicate that hospitals in the west improved efficiencies, while those in the east stayed constant. These western areas of the nation, being more amenable to western management and medical 'business' practice, may be quicker to pick up on new techniques to increase healthcare delivery efficiencies. This may stem from the more limited effects of a shorter history of incorporation into a Soviet-style planned and controlled economy in which individual decision-making and entrepreneurship was suppressed in favor of central decision-making by the state. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
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