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hSNS publication in the Socio-Economic Planning Sciences Journal

Using multi-criteria decision analysis to rank European health systems: The Beveridgian financing case.

Authors: Miguel Aves Pereira; Inês Freire Machete; Diogo Cunha Ferreira; Rui Cunha Marques

Abstract: Health is one of the most fundamental human rights. In that sense, the creation of health systems attempted to provide the population with organisations, institutions, and resources to meet their needs. However, health inequalities are prevalent in all countries. Thus, evaluating health systems is vital to understand this issue. Accordingly, the aim of this work is to develop a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach to innovatively rank nine of the European health systems with Beveridgian financing that would help determine the shortcomings of the Portuguese National Health Service and discern the operating “best practices”, in a close interaction with the Portuguese Ministry of Health. First, the panel of decision-making actors was guided through the design of a cognitive map to promote their learning process and help them identify eleven fundamental points of view. Second, their operationalisation was facilitated by selecting acceptable descriptors of performance. Finally, an MCDA approach was proposed to evaluate the chosen health systems using an additive model, which included a sensitivity and a robustness analysis. In the end, the model was perceived by the panel as being trustworthy and reliable. This framework can be used for further MCDA modelling in similar applications based on participatory procedures.

Keywords: Multi-criteria decision analysis; Problem structuring; Model structuring; Cognitive mapping; Health systems.

[Bibliographic reference] Pereira, M.; Machete, I.; Ferreira, D.; Marques, R. (2020) Using multi-criteria decision analysis to rank European health systems: The Beveridgian financing case. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2020.100913

About the journal: During the last several years, there has been substantial and important growth in the application of quantitative analysis, i.e., operations research/management science, statistics, and related arenas, to interdisciplinary problems arising in the area of socio-economic planning and development. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences is an international journal devoted exclusively to research in this important, but under-represented area. It provides a medium for research that might not appear in more specialized journals, either because of the interdisciplinary or applied character of the study, or the mathematical/quantitative nature of the research. The journal thus serves as a focus for investigations that have hitherto appeared in widely-scattered sources and/or less-than-appropriate sources. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences strongly encourages contributions dealing with applications of quantitative models and techniques to important decision problems in the service and public sectors. Of particular interest are accounts of such studies carried out in developing countries and economically emerging regions of the world. Review articles in important methodological and substantive areas are also of interest.