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Health policies and data

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, released on July 2. 

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 1.8% in 2017 - a marked decrease from the 3.5% 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 (5.4%) and Mexico (5.4%) were the lowest spenders in terms of share of GDP.

In per capita terms, health spending in 2017 is estimated to have reached USD 3 854 (adjusted for differences in price levels) on average across the OECD. In the United States, the average spend per person at USD 10 206 was more than double the OECD average. Per capita spending was also significantly above the OECD average in Switzerland (USD 7 147) and Norway (USD 6 064).

Around three-quarters of health spending on average in OECD countries is paid through government or compulsory insurance arrangements, with around 20% of health spending covered by user fees and out-of-pocket payments. The direct financial burden on households can have implications on access to care and financial protection.

 

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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