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Health Expenditure

 

Latest OECD figures on health spending show that health spending grew by less than 2% in 2017 with provisional estimates pointing to around 2.5% growth in 2018. OECD spending on health as a share of GDP remained at around 8.8% on average in 2017, according to OECD Health Statistics 2019, updated in November 2019. 

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 - LATEST TRENDS IN OECD HEALTH SPENDING

OECD spending on health care grew by an average of 2.0% in 2017 - a marked decrease from the 3.3% growth observed in 2015 and 2016 and significantly below the rates experienced before the crisis. Preliminary OECD estimates for 2018 point to growth having picked up to around 2.5% in 2018.

Health spending as a share of GDP was 8.8%, on average, in 2017 - the same level since 2013 as overall growth in health spending has closely followed overall economic growth. The share of GDP is expected to have stayed at 8.8% in 2018. At 17.1% of GDP, health spending in 2017 was highest in the United States, and significantly more than Switzerland (12.3%) and France (11.3%), the second and third highest spenders. At the other end of the scale, Turkey (4.2%), Luxembourg (5.5%) and Mexico (5.5%) were the lowest spenders in terms of share of GDP.

A substantial proportion of health spending is funded out of public resources – which mainly refer to funding from government revenues generated from tax income, and social insurance contributions. In 2017, they financed around 71% of health expenditure across the OECD. This share was particularly high in Norway and Luxembourg (85% of total spending), and lowest in Switzerland (financing less than a third of spending).

Health accounts for an increasing share of total government budgets. Across OECD countries, the share of public funding on health in total government expenditure stands now at 15%, up from 14% in 2005.

 

Access the dataset on Health Expenditure and Financing in OECD.Stat

This and other issues, such as the effects of an ageing population, or tracking, 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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