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Health at a Glance 2019

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2019

Health at a Glance compares key indicators for population health and health system performance across OECD members, candidate and partner countries. It highlights how countries differ in terms of the health status and health-seeking behaviour of their citizens; access to and quality of health care; and the resources available for health. Analysis is based on the latest comparable data across 80 indicators, with data coming from official national statistics, unless otherwise stated.

Alongside indicator-by-indicator analysis, an overview chapter summarises the comparative performance of countries and major trends, including how much health spending is associated with staffing, access, quality and health outcomes. This edition also includes a special focus on patient-reported outcomes and experiences, with a thematic chapter on measuring what matters for people-centred health systems.

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Financial hardship and out-of-pocket expenditure

Where health systems fail to provide adequate financial protection, people may not have enough money to pay for health care or meet other basic needs. As a result, lack of financial protection can reduce access to health care, undermine health status, deepen poverty and exacerbate health and socio-economic inequalities. On average across OECD countries, just over a fifth of all spending on health care comes directly from patients through out-of-pocket (OOP) payments (see indicator “Financing of health care”). People experience financial hardship when the burden of such OOP payments is large in relation to their ability to pay. Poor households and those who have to pay for long-term treatment such as medicines for chronic illness are particularly vulnerable.

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