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OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium 2005

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium 2005
This survey of Belgium's economy takes a comprehensive look at the country's most pressing economic problem: population ageing.  After looking at the economic and budget consequences of ageing, the report examines a number of responses including putting public finances on a sustainable path, constraining health expenditure growth, increasing the employment rate, enhancing the economic impact of migration, raising achievement in secondary education, and increasing productivity growth.

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Constraining Public Health Expenditure Growth

This chapter discusses the factors driving high growth on public healthcare outlays and the policy responses to these developments. Supply mismatches (i.e. excess supply of resources in some sub-sectors and shortages in others), excessive consumption of health services and pharmaceuticals, low productivity growth (Baumol effect), technological progress and population ageing are all identified as factors driving growth. For some time, the government has implemented policies to control the level of aggregate spending: budgetary caps, restrictions on the supply of hospital beds and on entry to medical school (numerus clausus), wage agreements,...

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