An Evaluation of European Countries’ Health Systems through Distance Based Analysis

Hippokratia. 2012; 16(2):170-174

V. Jeremic, M. Bulajic, M. Martic, A. Markovic, G. Savic, D. Jeremic, Z. Radojicic


Introduction: The issue of evaluating the efficiency of health systems has been elaborated upon frequently. Since “health” is a multi-faceted concept, many variables of different measurement units must be included in its analysis; consequently, this presents a great obstacle for researchers to overcome.
Materials and Methods: A novel statistical approach for evaluating the efficiency of organizational units is here proposed, which can also be easily applied to the health sector. For these purposes, the health status of the 27 countries belonging to the European Union has been examined by employing a statistical Ivanovic-Jeremic Distance Based Analysis (DBA) on various health indicators.
Results: The subsequent outcome of the Distance Based Analysis has shown that Cyprus and Ireland have a most efficient health system sectors. Greece also has exceptional indicators of health service, yet health on the individual level is not comparable.
Limitations: Since it synthesizes many variables into an efficiency score, a DBA can be easily applied to other regions/ countries. However, the choice of input and output variables can be considered to be potential limitations since a different choice of variables may cause different efficiency scores for the countries selected.
Conclusions: A DBA approach contributes significantly to the efficiency in the field of research measurement. This analysis can be additionally performed alongside DEA and SFA methods, as a new measure of efficiency.