Rāhburdhā-yi Mudīriyyat dar Niẓām-i Salāmat (Sep 2020)
Comparing Iran\'s Healthcare System Efficiency with OECD Countries Using Data Envelopment Analysis
Background: The health sector is one of the most important service sectors and one of the indicators of development and social welfare. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficiency of Iranchr('39')s health system compared to developed countries. Methods: This study used data envelopment analysis to evaluate efficiency. All members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), along with Iran, were considered as the decision units in the analysis. Outputs are life expectancy at birth and infant mortality rate; and inputs are health expenditure, number of physicians, and number of hospital beds. DEA Solver software was used for the analysis. Results: The most efficient countries in terms of the health system are Canada, Chile, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and Iran. Their inefficiency was calculated using the axial output model. The most inefficient countries were Portugal, Germany, the United States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Conclusion: Iranchr('39')s health system was found efficient, which showed that in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality rate (2 important markers of the health system), Iran performed efficiently comparing to its inputs, health expenditures, physicians, and the hospital bed. However, the Iranian health system was more efficient in this method due to the fewer inputs (physician and hospital bed) with similar outputs to other countries (life expectancy and infant mortality rate). On the other hand, the outbreak of the coronavirus showed that the health systems of the countries should be prepared for such pandemics and be able to increase the number of hospital beds, physicians, and other health system inputs.