Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2019

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This is the fourth edition of Society at a Glance Asia/Pacific, the OECD’s overview of social indicators for the region. The report addresses the growing demand for quantitative evidence on social well-being and its trends across countries in Asia and the Pacific.  Chapter 1 introduces this volume and provides readers with a guide to help them interpret OECD social indicators. Chapter 2 focuses on issues around extending coverage and the future of social protection in Asia and the Pacific. Already, there are many workers in Asia and the Pacific whose job does not entitle them to social and health supports. Digitalisation and changes in the nature of work may lead to further job-loss, but also increase economic labour market and economic inequalities between high- and low-skilled workers; workers with and without access to social benefits. These rising inequalities will further challenge social policy development in its quest to get support to those who need it most. The chapter includes some country programme examples to illustrate possible policy responses. Chapter 3 to 7 each present five indicators on general context, self-sufficiency, equity, health and social cohesion.

English Also available in: Korean

Health expenditure

Financial resources for health are unevenly distributed geographically. Australia and Japan have higher health expenditure per capita than the OECD average (USD 3715, 2015), while most of Asia/Pacific economies spend less than the Asia/Pacific average (USD 1 120). On average across the Asia/Pacific, two thirds of health expenditure is financed by governments or compulsory insurance schemes, and the rest is financed from voluntary schemes or concerns patients’ out-of-pocket expenses (). More than three‐quarters of total health expenditure in Brunei Darussalam, Japan, New Zealand, and Thailand were financed publicly in 2015, while in countries with a lower GDP per capita such as Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Nepal three-quarters of total health expenditure were financed privately.



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