OECD Health Working Papers

ISSN :
1815-2015 (online)
DOI :
10.1787/18152015
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership health studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.
 

The Challenge of Financing Health Care in the Current Crisis

An Analysis Based on the OECD Data You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Peter Scherer, Marion Devaux1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

Publication Date
21 May 2010
Bibliographic information
No.:
49
Pages
52
DOI
10.1787/5kmfkgr0nb20-en

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The ratio of health expenditure to GDP, which in macroeconomic terms is an indicator which summarises the financing needs of a national health system, is likely to rise in countries for which the GDP falls. Over the past four decades, health expenditure has risen in most countries at a faster rate than GDP, leading to a rise in the expenditure ratio. Fluctuations in this ratio can come about through fluctuations in either of its components. In some cases, notably the USA, GDP variation is the main origin of changes in the ratio, but in the majority of countries health expenditure variation is more important. The experience of countries which did reduce health expenditure after previous recessions suggests that such reductions are short-lived, and demand for health services results over time in a revival of health expenditure growth.
JEL Classification:
  • H51: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / Government Expenditures and Health
  • I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
  • N00: Economic History / General / General