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Health at a Glance 2015

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2015

This new edition of Health at a Glance presents the most recent comparable data on the performance of health systems in OECD countries. Where possible, it also reports data for partner countries (Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russian Federation and South Africa). Compared with the previous edition, this new edition includes a new set of dashboards of health indicators to summarise in a clear and user-friendly way the relative strengths and weaknesses of OECD countries on different key indicators of health and health system performance, and also a special focus on the pharmaceutical sector. This edition also contains new indicators on health workforce migration and on the quality of health care.

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Capital expenditure in the health sector

Knowing how much a health system is investing in hospitals, medical technology and other equipment is very relevant for policy making and analysis. Although health systems remain a highly labour-intensive sector, capital has been increasingly important as a factor of production of health services over recent decades. This is illustrated, for example, by the growing importance of diagnostic and therapeutic equipment or the expansion of information, computer and telecommunications technology in health care over the last few years. The availability of statistics on capital expenditure is essential to the analysis of the health system’s production capacity (that is, whether capacity is appropriate, deficient or excessive), which is needed in turn to inform policy implementation (for example, if excess capacity exists, the marginal cost of expanding coverage will be lower than if the health care system is already straining to fill current demand).

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