Health policies and data

Health Expenditure

 

Latest estimates point to slowly rising health spending growth, according to OECD Health Statistics 2017. While health spending growth remains somewhat below pre-crisis rates, it has tended to follow economic growth more closely since 2013. This is in contrast to the years leading up to the economic crisis, when growth in health spending strongly outpaced that in the rest of the economy.


The OECD Manual A System of Health Accounts (SHA, revised edition March 2017) provides a standard framework for producing a set of comprehensive, consistent and internationally comparable accounts to meet the needs of public and private-sector health analysts and policy-makers.

Health expenditure

WHAT’S NEW – HEALTH SPENDING RISES IN LINE WITH ECONOMIC GROWTH

Estimates for 2016 suggest that health spending across the OECD continued to rise at a steady pace. Average growth was around 2.3% in real terms, down on pre-crisis levels but in line with average economic growth across the OECD. Much of the growth in health spending over the last five years has been driven by increased spending on outpatient and long-term care. After several years of reductions of spending on pharmaceuticals, latest figures for 2015 point to renewed expenditure growth in this sector.

Recent trends reinforce the on-going concerns regarding the adequacy of financial resources for health care and the way that those resources are used. Consequently, policy-makers and researchers seek more detailed and comparative information on health care expenditures to address questions such as:

  • What are the main drivers accounting for health expenditure growth?
  • What factors explain the observed differences between countries?
  • What are the main structural differences in health spending between countries?
  • How are changes in the structure of health spending and performance of health systems related?

Health-spending-growth_OECDHealthStatistics2017

These and other issues, such as the effects of an ageing population, or tracking the financial burden of households, have been challenging the traditional system of health expenditure statistics.

Despite the post-crisis slowdown in health spending growth, concerns about the fiscal sustainability of health systems remain large. The publication Fiscal Sustainability of Health Systems: Bridging Health and Finance Perspectives provides a detailed overview of institutional frameworks for financing health care in OECD countries. It offers a comprehensive mapping of budgeting practices and governance structures in health across OECD countries.

KEY publication: A SYSTEM OF HEALTH ACCOUNTS

The OECD Manual A System of Health Accounts (SHA) provides a standard framework for producing a set of comprehensive, consistent and internationally comparable accounts to meet the needs of public and private-sector health analysts and policy-makers. The SHA manual establishes a conceptual basis of statistical reporting rules that are compatible with other economic and social statistics.

Note that the revised edition was released on March 16, 2017.

Related reading material:

PUBLICATIONS AND PROJECTS RELATED TO HEALTH EXPENDITURE 

COntacts FOR HEALTH EXPENDITURE

For more information, please contact us at sha.contact@oecd.org.

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