Health policies and data

The OECD Joint Network of Senior Health and Budget Officials – Fiscal Sustainability of Health Systems


Given the unique financial challenges faced by health systems, an effective dialogue between the different government agencies responsible for health financing is critical. To help facilitate this dialogue, the OECD Joint Network of Senior Budget and Health Officials was established in 2011. It brings together people who work on the health budget, including representatives from ministries of finance, health and social security organisations.

Over the years it has provided an effective space for government officials to openly discuss challenges and solutions to the fiscal sustainability of health systems. Since 2015, this network has expanded beyond OECD member countries, in partnership with the World Health Organization, the Global Fund and other international institutions. Regional networks have been established in Asia, Central Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Health accounts for a large share of public budgets and is among the main drivers of government spending in OECD countries. Health expenditure has typically outpaced economic growth, and without effective cost containment policies, OECD forecasts estimate public spending on health and long-term care to reach on average almost 9% of GDP by 2030 and 14% by 2060.

Growth in health spending has led to considerable improvements in the health of populations and is a source of economic growth and jobs. Yet the health systems we enjoy today and expected medical advances in the future will be difficult to finance from public resources without major reform.

Health spending by government schemes and compulsory health insurance as share of total government expenditure, 2015 (or nearest year)


Source: OECD Health Statistics 2017, OECD National Accounts Database.‌

Activities and outputs of the Joint Network

Alongside annual meetings, the joint network conducts surveys on budgeting practices for health, complemented by more in-depth country case studies.

Network meetings

OECD member states network:

Regional networks - Synthesis Notes: 

Synthesis-Note-5th-Meeting Synthesis-Note-1st-Meeting-LAC

Health CEE meeting synthesis cover



Synthesis Note of the 5th meeting of the Network

Synthesis note of the 1st joint network meeting of LAC countries

Synthesis note of the 2nd joint network meeting for CEE countries Synthesis note of the 1st joint network meeting of Asian countries

Survey results

Main Publications

Further reading


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