Objective: To analyze the efficiency of community health service in urban and suburban areas of Shanghai.
Methods: Fifty community health centers in Shanghai that registered to create “National Demonstration Community Health Center” in 2013 were included in our study. The service efficiency was analyzed with the methods of econometrics based on Cobb-Douglas production function.
Results: Two production functions were formulated for urban community health services and those in suburban areas; the equation for urban areas was: lnY=7.778+0.450lnL+0.350lnK+μ; and the equation for suburban areas was: lnY=6.329+0.728lnL+0.350lnK+μ. The results showed that among the inputs, labor had more effect on output than capital did. It also showed that marginal benefit of labor was different in urban and suburban areas. Urban community health centers were in the interval of decreasing returns to scale, while suburban community health centers were in the interval of constant returns to scale.
Conclusion: Increasing human resource investment is a key factor for increasing community health service output. Due to the difference of scale merit between urban and rural areas, government or other policy makers should make the development policy for them accordingly. Those community health centers in urban areas should pay more attention to the service efficiency and service innovation.