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Table 1 Input and output variables

From: Health expenditure efficiency in rural China using the super-SBM model and the Malmquist productivity index

Project Inputs/Outputs Abbreviation Measurement and Explanations References
Input indicators Healthcare expenditure per capita (yuan) PPP Total rural medical and health expenditure / rural population. This input is related to financial health expenditure per capita in rural areas, [15, 17, 48]
Total expenditure on health (% GDP) EXP Total rural medical and health expenditure / GDP × 100%. This input represents the degree of government emphasis on health and its fiscal functions. [8, 15]
health institution outputs Number of village clinics per thousand rural population (unit) NC Number of village clinics / (rural population ×  1000). This output reflects the health level of the rural residents near a village clinic. [30, 37, 49]
Number of township health centers per thousand rural population (unit) NTH Number of township health centers / (rural population ×  1000). This output describes the health level of the rural residents near a township health center. [30, 37, 49]
health technical personnel outputs Village doctors and assistants per 1000 rural population (ren) DA Village doctors and assistants / (rural population ×  1000). This output explains the level of human resources in a village clinic. [9, 22, 23, 37]
Doctors of township health centers per 1000 rural population (ren) DTH Doctors of township health centers / (rural population × 1000). This output indicates the proportion of doctors in the township health centers per 1000 rural population. [9, 37, 50]
Licensed (assistant) doctors of township health centers per 1000 rural population (ren/1000) LDT Licensed (assistant) doctors of township health centers / (rural population × 1000). This output indicates the technical level of the medical staff in rural areas. [5, 17, 22, 50]
Registered nurses of township health centers per 1000 rural population (ren/1000) NTH Registered nurses of township health centers / (rural population ×  1000). This output indicates the technical level of nurses in rural areas. [5, 8, 9]
health facility outputs Beds per 1000 rural population (beds) BED Beds of medical institutions / (rural population × 1000). This output indicates the relative number of beds provided by health institutions. [10, 12, 23, 51, 50]
utilization rate of
health resource outputs
Outpatients per 1000 rural population (person-times) NV Outpatients in township health centers / rural population ×  1000.This output describes the outpatient service level. [17, 23, 52, 54]
Number of inpatients (person) NI Number of inpatients in township health centers / rural population ×  1000. This output describes the inpatient service level. [9, 23, 49, 50]
Utilization rate of beds (%) UB Actual bed days used / actual available bed days × 100%. The key indicator evaluating bed efficiency. [12, 17, 22]
Average duration of hospitalization (day) ADH Total number of bed days occupied by discharged persons/total number of discharged persons. This output describes the extent of health care resource utilization. [12, 13]