OECD Health at a Glance 2009: Key findings for Germany


The OECD’s latest edition of Health at a Glance shows that health spending is increasing in all OECD countries and all countries could do better in providing good quality health care.

Quality of Care

Germany does well in providing acute care for people with life-threatening conditions such as strokes, achieving lower mortality rates than most other OECD countries, although some Nordic countries have even lower rates. Germany does well also in avoiding hospital admissions for people with chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes. 


  • Germany has lower rates of deaths within 30 days following hospital admission for ischaemic stroke (3.8% vs OECD average of 5.0%) and hemorrhagic stroke (14.5% vs OECD average of 19.8%).  However, Finland and Norway achieve even lower death rates in hospital.
  • Avoidable hospital admissions for asthma and diabetes are lower in Germany than in other OECD countries.  However, hospital admission rates for hypertension and congestive heart failure are higher in Germany than the OECD average.

Health Expenditure

Germany spent 10.4% of GDP on health in 2007, more than the OECD average of 8.9%. Spending per person is also 20% higher than the OECD average.


Total health spending accounted for 10.4% of GDP in Germany in 2007, compared with an average of 8.9% across OECD countries. The United States (16.0%), France (11.0%) and Switzerland (10.8%) had a higher share.

  • Germany’s spending on health per person is 20% higher than the OECD average, with spending of 3588 USD in 2007 (adjusted for purchasing power parity), compared with an OECD average of 2984 USD. However, per capita health spending over 1997-2007 grew in real terms by only 1.7% per year in Germany, the lowest growth rate among all OECD countries (OECD average 4.1%).
  • The public sector continues to be the main source of health funding in all OECD countries, except Mexico and the United States. In Germany, 77% of health spending was funded by public sources in 2007, more than the average of 73% for OECD countries.  

  • Journalists are invited to contact the OECD’s Media Relations Division (tel.: 33 1 45 24 97 00 or [email protected]) to obtain a copy of OECD Health at a Glance 2009.
  • For further information about the content of OECD Health at a Glance 2009, please contact Mark Pearson (tel. 33 1 45 24 92 69 or [email protected]) or Gaétan Lafortune (tel. 33 1 45 24 92 67 or [email protected]) in the OECD Health Division.
  • More information on OECD Health at a Glance 2009 is available at
  • For information on OECD's work on Germany, please visit


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