Measuring the Capacity Utilization of Public District Hospitals in Tunisia: Using Dual Data Envelopment Analysis Approach

Document Type: Original Article


1 Iational Institute of Labour and Social Studies (INTES), University of Carthage, Tunisia, Tunis

2 LEM-CNRS, IÉSEG School of Management, Lille, France

3 LEFA-IHEC, University of Carthage, Tunisia, Tunis

4 Health Economist Expert (free lance)


Public district hospitals (PDHs) in Tunisia are not operating at full plant capacity and underutilize their operating budget.
Individual PDHs capacity utilization (CU) is measured for 2000 and 2010 using dual data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach with shadow prices input and output restrictions. The CU is estimated for 101 of 105 PDH in 2000 and 94 of 105 PDH in 2010.
In average, unused capacity is estimated at 18% in 2010 vs. 13% in 2000. Of PDHs 26% underutilize their operating budget in 2010 vs. 21% in 2000.
Inadequate supply, health quality and the lack of operating budget should be tackled to reduce unmet user’s needs and the bypassing of the PDHs and, thus to increase their CU. Social health insurance should be turned into a direct purchaser of curative and preventive care for the PDHs.


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