OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

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Improving the efficiency and outcomes of the Slovak health-care system

Despite improvements over the past few decades, Slovak health outcomes remains poor compared with most other OECD countries, even after controlling for differences in per capita income and other social, cultural and lifestyle factors. Disparities in access to care and health outcomes between the Roma and the rest of the population are large. Moreover, the health-care system is a source of general discontent because of high out-of-pocket payments, long waiting lists for some medical services and widely perceived mismanagement of public health-care spending. Health-care spending is currently about in line with the country's standard of living. However, improving the efficiency of this sector is key: meeting the rising demand for medical services in the coming decades while containing government spending to maintain sound public finances will be challenging. The most pressing issues to be addressed concern: enhancing the efficiency and quality of primary care; addressing the shortage of nurses and replacing the large number of retiring physicians; modernising hospital infrastructure and management; further tightening control over pharmaceutical and other ancillary spending; developing a comprehensive strategy for long-term care; promoting better care access for the Roma population; and improving lifestyles through well-designed public health and disease-prevention policies.


Keywords: health policy, pharmaceutical expenditure, medical prevention, medical demography, generic drugs
JEL: I14: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health and Inequality; I10: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: General; I13: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health Insurance, Public and Private; I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health; I11: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Analysis of Health Care Markets
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