Background: Rural medical health centers (RMHCs) are the foundation of the three-level primary medical and health service system in China. The efficiency of RMHCs is related to the rationality of the health care resource allocation for China’s 560 million rural population.
Methods: This study analyzed the dynamic changes in the efficiency of RMHCs and its convergence using the non-guided SBM–DEA window model and convergence model, in Shanxi Province, China.
Results: The results showed that the medical service efficiency is low. The average scores of the comprehensive technical efficiency and pure technical efficiency of the RMHCs in China from 2016 to 2018 were only 0.1541 and 0.1670, respectively, with nearly 63% of the values being lower than their average scores. The comprehensive technical efficiency and pure technical efficiency of the RMHCs in 2016–2018 exhibited a downtrend year on year. The convergence analysis results also showed that the current rural health clinic medical service efficiency had absolute convergence and conditional convergence. If appropriate policies are followed, the medical service efficiency of the RMHCs can be improved to reach its steady-state level.
Conclusions: The medical service efficiency of RMHCs remains low and may gradually decline. The government should promote the efficiency of medical service in RMHCs to reach their own optimal level by formulating corresponding medical and health resource allocation policies.