World health system performance revisited: the impact of varying the relative importance of health system goals

Jeremy A. Lauer, C. A.Knox Lovell, Christopher J.L. Murray, David B. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: In 2002, the World Health Organization published a health system performance ranking for 191 member countries. The ranking was based on five indicators, with fixed weights common to all countries. Methods: We investigate the feasibility and desirability of using mathematical programming techniques that allow weights to vary across countries to reflect their varying circumstances and objectives. Results: By global distributional measures, scores and ranks are found to be not very sensitive to changes in weights, although differences can be large for individual countries. Conclusions: Building the flexibility of variable weights into calculation of the performance index is a useful way to respond to the debates and criticisms appearing since publication of the ranking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2004


  • health care provision
  • weighting of indicators
  • mathematical analysis
  • health status indicator
  • world health organization
  • organization and management
  • quality control

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