Rethinking Health Care Commercialization: Evidence from Malaysia

Nwagbara and Rasiah Globalization and Health (2015) 11:44, DOI 10.1186/s12992-015-0131-y

8 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 19, 2015

Abstract

Background: Against the backdrop of systemic inefficiency in the public health care system and the theoretical claims that markets result in performance and efficiency improvement, developing countries’ governments have been rapidly commercializing health care delivery. This paper seeks to determine whether commercialization through an expansion in private hospitals has led to performance improvements in public hospitals.

Methods: Inpatient utilization records of all public hospitals in Peninsular Malaysia over the period 2006–2010 were used in this study. These records were obtained from the Ministry of Health. The study relied on utilization ratios, bed occupancy rates (BOR), bed turnover rates (BTR) and average length of stay (ALOS). The data were analyzed using SPSS 22 Statistical Software and the Pabon Lasso technique.

Results: Over 60 % of public hospitals in Malaysia are inefficient and perform sub-optimally. Average BOR among the public hospitals was 56 % in 2006 and 61 % in 2010. There was excessive BTR of 65 and 73 times within the period. Overall, the ALOS was low, falling from 3.4 days in 2006 to 3.1 days in 2010.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that commercialization has not led to performance improvements in the public health care sector in Malaysia. The evidence suggests that efforts to improve performance will require a focus directly on public hospitals.

Keywords: Public health, Performance, Commercialization, Utilization ratios, Hospitals, Malaysia

JEL Classification: I18

Suggested Citation

Nwagbara, Vitalis Chukwudi and Rasiah, Rajah, Rethinking Health Care Commercialization: Evidence from Malaysia (November 19, 2015). Nwagbara and Rasiah Globalization and Health (2015) 11:44, DOI 10.1186/s12992-015-0131-y, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2002387

Vitalis Chukwudi Nwagbara (Contact Author)

University of Malaya (UM) ( email )

Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50603
University of Malaya (UM)
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50603
Malaysia

Rajah Rasiah

University of Malaya ( email )

University of Malaya
Faculty of Economics and Administration
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50603
Malaysia
60379673606 (Phone)
60379673719 (Fax)

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