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Health Expenditure

 

After jumping substantially in 2020, OECD spending on health as a share of GDP is not expected to have increased further in 2021, despite health spending growth accelerating. This is as a result of the strong economic recovery in many OECD countries in 2021. Preliminary estimates for a group of 17 countries suggest that health spending increased by around 6% on average in 2021, according to OECD Health Statistics 2022, released in July 2022.

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 - LATEST TRENDS IN OECD HEALTH SPENDING

Latest OECD estimates point to average health expenditure growth of 5% in 2020, driven by the exceptionally high growth in spending by government and compulsory schemes (+8.1%) in response to the additional needs to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Private spending, on the other hand, fell on average by more than 3%. As a result of the substantial spending growth and the widespread economic downturn, health spending as a share of GDP jumped to 9.7% across OECD countries in 2020, up from 8.8% in 2019. Preliminary estimates for a group of 17 OECD countries suggest that health spending continued to grow strongly in 2021 – by around 6%. Yet, as economies recovered globally in 2021, the proportion of health spending in GDP is not expected to have grown further in 2021.

In many countries, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a lack of resilience of health systems and additional financing is required to provide countries with the agility to respond to future crises. Generally, there is a need to protect underlying population health, fortify the foundations of health systems, and bolster health workers on the frontline. However, this raises concerns about the fiscal sustainability of health systems in the long-run.

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.

Note: Based on 17 countries providing preliminary estimates of health spending for 2021.
Access the dataset on Health Expenditure and Financing in OECD.Stat

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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