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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 2020, 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

Preliminary OECD estimates for 2018 point to health spending growth of around 2.5% in 2018. Health spending as a share of GDP is expected to have remained 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.On average, more than 70% of health spending is funded out of public resources – from government revenues (primarily tax income) and social insurance contributions. This share was particularly high in Norway and Luxembourg (85% of total spending), and lowest in Switzerland (financing less than a third of overall spending). 


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.

 

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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