New OECD data and analysis on health spending show that health spending in 2016 grew by its fastest rate in seven years, with further growth expected in 2017, according to OECD Health Statistics 2018, released on June 28. OECD spending on health care increased by 3.4%, on average, in 2016, the highest rate since 2009 although still below pre-crisis levels.
WHAT’S NEW - POLICY BRIEF SPENDING ON HEALTH: LATEST TRENDS
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OECD spending on health care increased by 3.4%, on average, in 2016, the highest rate since 2009 although still below pre-crisis levels. Preliminary estimates for 2017 expect spending to keep growing but by less, at around 2.5%. The figures refer to what governments and individuals spent.
Health spending as a share of GDP was 8.9% in 2016 and is forecast to remain at this level in 2017. At 17.2% of GDP, health spending was highest in the United States, and significantly more than Switzerland (12.3%) and France (11.5%), the second and third highest spenders. At the other end of the scale, Turkey (4.2%) and Mexico (5.4%) each spent less than 6% of their GDP on health.
In per capita terms, health spending in 2017 is estimated to have reached USD 4 069 (adjusted for differences in price levels) on average across the OECD. This is roughly 70% more than OECD countries spend on education for each citizen. In the United States, the average spend is expected to have risen above USD 10 000 for the first time in 2017. Per capita spending was also significantly above the OECD average in Switzerland (USD 8 009), Luxembourg (USD 7 049) and Norway (USD 6 351).
Overall health spending growth in 2016 was mainly triggered by increases in outpatient care (+4.4%), with long-term care (+3.0%), retail pharmaceuticals (+2.8%) and inpatient care (+2.2%) recording more moderate growth.
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
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