Reader’s guide

Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific presents a set of key indicators on health and health systems for 27 Asia-Pacific countries and territories. It builds on the format used in previous editions of Health at a Glance to present comparable data on health status and its determinants, health care resources and utilisation, health care expenditure and financing and health care quality.

This publication was prepared jointly by the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WHO/WPRO), the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia (WHO/SEARO), the OECD Health Division and the OECD/Korea Policy Centre, under the co-ordination of Luca Lorenzoni from the OECD Health Division.

Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 were prepared by Luca Lorenzoni, Yoshiaki Hori, Gabriel Di Paolantonio and Tom Raitzik Zonenschein from the OECD Health Division, with support from Ayodele Akinnawo, Eriko Anzai, Benjamin Bayutas, Emma Callon, Mengjuan Duan, Kareena Hundal, Chung Won Lee, Ji Young Lee, Kayla Mae Mariano, Tamano Matsui, Sangjun Moon, Manilay Phengxay, Ariuntuya Ochirpurev, Babatunde Olowokure, Jinho Shin, Alpha Grace Tabanao, Martin Vandendyck, Ding Wang, Xiaojun Wang, Tracy Yuen, Masahiro Zakoji, and Angel Grace Zorilla from WHO/WPRO. Chapter 3, Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 were prepared by Luca Lorenzoni, Gabriel Di Paolantonio and Tom Raitzik Zonenschein from the OECD Health Division, with support from Robert Ryan Arciaga, Sahar Bajis, Mengjuan Duan, Kiyohiko Izumi, James Kelley, April Siwon Lee, Virginia Macdonald, Ada Moadsiri, Fukushi Morishita, Jinho Shin, Alpha Grace Tabanao, Josaia Tiko, Juliawati Untoro, Martin Vandendyck, Delgermaa Vanya, Manami Yanagawa, Tracy Yuen, and Masahiro Zakoji from WHO/WPRO. Chapter 6 was written by Luca Lorenzoni, with support from Natalja Eigo and Andrew Siroka from WHO headquarters, Fe Dy-Liacco and Ding Wang from WHO/WPRO. Chapter 7 was prepared by Rie Fujisawa and Anamaria Verdugo (OECD Health Division), with support from Hardeep Sandhu and Josaia Tiko from WHO/WPRO.

Valuable input was received from Mengjuan Duan, Alpha Grace Tabanao and Tracy Yuen from WHO/WPRO, Rakesh Mani Rastogi, Ruchita Rajbhandary and Tarun Jain from WHO/SEARO, and Frederico Guanais (OECD Health Division).

This publication benefited from the comments and suggestions of Kidong Park (Director, Data, Strategy and Innovation, WHO/WPRO), Manoj Jhalani (Director, Health Systems Development, WHO/SEARO), Jeong Joung-hun (Director General, Health and Social Policy Programme, OECD/Korea Policy Centre) and Francesca Colombo (Head of OECD Health Division).

Thanks go to Lucy Hulett (OECD) for editorial assistance.

Health at a Glance: Asia-Pacific 2022 is divided into seven chapters:

Chapter 1 Dashboards shows a set of key indicators to compare performance across countries in each of the following dimensions: health status, risk factors, quality of care and health care resources. For each dimension, a set of indicators is presented in the form of country dashboards. The indicators are selected based on their policy relevance, but also on data availability and interpretability.

Chapter 2 on The health impact of COVID-19 provides an overview of the direct and indirect health impact of COVID-19. It discussed the direct impact of the pandemic in terms of number of COVID-19 cases, reported deaths and excess mortality. It then discusses the disruptions of health services during the pandemic and reviews how countries responded to the pandemic based on the epidemiological scenari and national capabilities and contexts.

Chapter 3 on Health status highlights the variations across countries and territories in life expectancy, neonatal, infant and childhood mortality and major causes of mortality and morbidity, including both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Chapter 4 on Determinants of health focuses on determinants of health. It features the health of mothers and babies, through family planning issues, low birthweight and breastfeeding. It also includes lifestyle and behavioural indicators such as smoking and underweight and overweight, as well as water and sanitation.

Chapter 5 on Health care resources, utilisation and access reviews some of the inputs, outputs and outcomes of health care systems. This includes the supply of doctors and nurses and hospital beds, as well as the provision of primary and secondary health care services, such as doctor consultations and hospital discharges, as well as a range of services surrounding pregnancy, childbirth and infancy.

Chapter 6 on Health care expenditure and financing examines trends in health spending across Asia-Pacific countries. It looks at how health services and goods are paid for, and the different mix between public funding, private health insurance, direct out-of-pocket payments by households and external resources.

Chapter 7 on Health care quality builds on the indicators used in the OECD’s Health Care Quality Indicator programme to examine trends in health care quality improvement across Asia-Pacific countries and territories.

Annex A provides the list of national data sources used for this publication.

Annex B provides some additional tables on the demographic context within which different health systems operate.

For this seventh edition of Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific, 27 regional countries and territories were compared: 22 in Asia (Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Hong Kong (China), India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Macau (China), Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam) and five in the Pacific region (Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands).

We follow OECD guidelines concerning the names of countries and territories, and those guidelines may differ from those of the WHO.

The indicators have been selected on the basis of being relevant to monitoring health systems performance, taking into account the availability and comparability of existing data in the Asia/Pacific region. The publication takes advantage of the routine administrative and programme data collected by the World Health Organization, especially the Regional Offices for the Western Pacific and South-East Asia, as well as special country population surveys collecting demographic and health information.

The indicators are presented in the form of easy-to-read figures and explanatory narratives. Each of the topics covered in this publication is presented over two or three pages. The first page (s) defines the indicator and notes any methodological or contextual concerns which might affect data comparability. It also provides brief commentary highlighting the key findings from the data analyses. On the facing page is a set of figures. These typically show the latest levels of the indicator across countries and, where possible, trends over time. When appropriate, an additional figure describing the relationship between two comparable indicators variable is included.

The cut-off date for all the data reported in this publication was Friday 21 October 2022.

Countries and territories are classified into four income groups – high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low – based on their Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (current USD) calculated using the Atlas method (World Bank). The classification reported in the table below and used in this publication is the one updated on the 1 July 2021.

In text and figures, Asia Pacific-H refers to the unweighted average for high-income reporting Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Asia Pacific-UM refers to the unweighted average for upper-middle income reporting Asia Pacific countries and territories, and Asia Pacific-LM/L refers to the unweighted average for lower-middle and low-income reporting countries and territories.

“OECD” refers to the unweighted average for the 38 OECD member countries. It includes Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Korea. Data for OECD countries are generally extracted from OECD sources, unless stated otherwise. For some indicators where data is not available for all 38 OECD countries, averages were calculated based on information available and are denoted in figures using OECDXX, where XX represents the number of OECD countries included in the average.

Even if from a statistical viewpoint the use of a population-weighted average is sound, the unweighted average used in this report allows for a better representation of levels and trends observed in countries and territories with small population numbers.

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