Does integration of HIV and sexual and reproductive health services improve technical efficiency in Kenya and Swaziland? An application of a two-stage semi parametric approach incorporating quality measures

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Theoretically, integration of vertically organized services is seen as an important approach to improving the efficiency of health service delivery. However, there is a dearth of evidence on the effect of integration on the technical efficiency of health service delivery. Furthermore, where technical efficiency has been assessed, there have been few attempts to incorporate quality measures within efficiency measurement models particularly in sub-Saharan African settings. This paper investigates the technical efficiency and the determinants of technical efficiency of integrated HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services using data collected from 40 health facilities in Kenya and Swaziland for 2008/2009 and 2010/2011. Incorporating a measure of quality, we estimate the technical efficiency of health facilities and explore the effect of integration and other environmental factors on technical efficiency using a two-stage semi-parametric double bootstrap approach. The empirical results reveal a high degree of inefficiency in the health facilities studied. The mean bias corrected technical efficiency scores taking quality into consideration varied between 22% and 65% depending on the data envelopment analysis (DEA) model specification. The number of additional HIV services in the maternal and child health unit, public ownership and facility type, have a positive and significant effect on technical efficiency. However, number of additional HIV and STI services provided in the same clinical room, proportion of clinical staff to overall staff, proportion of HIV services provided, and rural location had a negative and significant effect on technical efficiency. The low estimates of technical efficiency and mixed effects of the measures of integration on efficiency challenge the notion that integration of HIV and SRH services may substantially improve the technical efficiency of health facilities. The analysis of quality and efficiency as separate dimensions of performance suggest that efficiency may be achieved without sacrificing quality.






Assessing the Benefits of Integrated HIV and Reproductive Health Services: The Integra Initiative