Are India's Primary Health Centres Delivering Quality Care? An Efficiency Evaluation

Shallu Sehgal

Department of Economics, University of Jammu, India.

Sukhleen Kour *

Department of Economics, University of Jammu, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


One of the main concerns of any country is its health sector because of its strong linkages with the development of the country and its people. The development of healthcare system of any country depends upon how efficiently the various resources that is financial and human resources are utilized. The evaluation of effectiveness of healthcare facilities can assist decision-makers in ensuring the best possible use of the resources at their disposal. In this context, it is vital to evaluate the efficiency of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) as they work at the primary level of the healthcare system and provide precautionary, curative, and promotive services to the people of both rural and urban areas. The present study has tried to evaluate the technical efficiency of PHCs in India using data from Health Management and Information System (HMIS) and Rural Health Statistics (RHS) for the year 2019-20 by applying the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) technique. The study shows that out of the total PHCs included in the study, 13 (37%) were technically efficient constituting the ‘best practice frontier’. The other 63 per cent were technically inefficient with an average TE score of 0.65. This implies that these 22 inefficient PHCs could potentially reduce their current input endowment by 37 per cent while leaving their output unchanged. Henceforth, it is seen that more than half of the PHCs were operating inefficiently. Decision-makers and administrators in the state should determine the underline cause of the observed inefficiencies and can take the necessary steps to improve the effectiveness of these PHCs.

Keywords: Technical efficiency, primary health centres, public health, interstate analysis

How to Cite

Sehgal, Shallu, and Sukhleen Kour. 2024. “Are India’s Primary Health Centres Delivering Quality Care? An Efficiency Evaluation”. Asian Journal of Research in Nursing and Health 7 (1):87-97.


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