Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 285–292 | Cite as

Using DEA to Evaluate Efficiency and Formulate Policy Within a Greek National Primary Health Care Network

  • Athanasios I. ZavrasEmail author
  • Georgios Tsakos
  • Charalabos Economou
  • John Kyriopoulos


The purpose of this paper is to critically evaluate the relative efficiency of primary health care centers of the principal Greek public insurance provider, the Social Security Institute (IKA). The source of the efficiency data was the Statistical Unit of IKA. Using Data Envelopment Analysis, we analyzed data from 133 centers nationwide. Input variables included the number of personnel, stratified in different categories, and the number of people covered by each health center. The number of pensioners enlisted to each health care facility was used as an index of aging and vulnerability of the covered population. According to the results of the study, centers with the technological infrastructure to perform laboratory and/or radiographic examinations exhibited higher efficiency scores. In addition, centers with eligible covered populations from 10,000 to 50,000 were found as the most efficient. Health sector reforms should be planned on the basis of such analyses. If the model is supplemented with valid demographic, socioeconomic, and epidemiological data, it may become the basis for the creation of a national health care chart, matching available resources to the population and its health care needs.

data envelopment analysis efficiency primary health care Greece 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Athanasios I. Zavras
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Georgios Tsakos
    • 2
    • 3
  • Charalabos Economou
    • 2
  • John Kyriopoulos
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health Policy and EpidemiologyHarvard School of Dental MedicineBoston
  2. 2.Department of Health EconomicsNational School of Public HealthAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthRoyal Free and University College, London Medical SchoolLondon

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