Health spending set to outpace GDP growth to 2030

health 2019__

(Richard Catabay, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.

Health expenditure will outpace GDP growth over the next 15 years in almost every OECD country, according to new OECD forecasts. Health spending per capita will grow at an average annual rate of 2.7% across the OECD and will reach 10.2% of GDP by 2030, up from 8.8% in 2018, according to a new OECD report.

Health at a Glance 2019: OECD Indicators says that the United States spent the most on health care in 2018, equivalent to 16.9% of GDP, above Switzerland, the next highest spending country, at 12.2%. Germany, France, Sweden and Japan all spent close to 11% of GDP, while a few countries spent less than 6% of their GDP on health care, including Mexico, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Turkey at 4.2%.

Health at a Glance outlines areas where spending could be more effective:

  • Increased use of generic drugs could save costs, but at the moment are only half  the volume of pharmaceuticals sold across OECD countries. Generics accounted for more than three-quarters of the volume of pharmaceuticals sold in Chile, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, but less than one-quarter in Luxembourg and Switzerland in 2017.
  • Health and social systems employ more workers now than ever before, with about one in every ten of all jobs in OECD countries found in health or social care. Shifting tasks from doctors to nurses and other health professionals can alleviate cost pressures and improve efficiency.
  • Increasing patient safety not only improves health, it can also save money. Almost 5% of hospitalised patients had a health care associated infection in 2015-17.

Health at a Glance 2019 highlights some worrying patterns in health outcomes and unhealthy lifestyles.

A  person born today can expect to live almost 81 years on average in OECD countries. But life expectancy gains have slowed recently in most OECD countries, especially in the United States, France and the Netherlands. 2015 was a particularly bad year, with life expectancy falling in 19 countries.

The causes include rising levels of obesity and diabetes that have made it difficult to maintain previous progress in cutting deaths from heart disease and stroke. Respiratory diseases such as influenza and pneumonia have also claimed more lives in recent years, notably amongst older people.

Opioid-related deaths have increased by about 20% across OECD countries since 2011, and have claimed about 400,000 lives in the United States alone. Opioid-related deaths are also relatively high in Canada, Estonia and Sweden.

Smoking, drinking and obesity continue to cause people to die prematurely and worsen quality of life:

  • Smoking rates are declining, but 18% of adults still smoke daily.
  • Alcohol consumption averaged 9 litres of pure alcohol per person per year across OECD countries, equivalent to almost 100 bottles of wine. Nearly 4% of adults were alcohol dependent.
  • Obesity rates continue to rise in most OECD countries, with 56% of adults overweight or obese and almost one-third of children aged 5-9 overweight.
  • Air pollution caused about 40 deaths per 100,000 people across OECD countries. Death rates were much higher in countries like India and China, at around 140 deaths per 100,000 people.

The report argues that more attention should be placed on patient-reported outcomes and experiences. Preliminary results from OECD’s new initiative on Patient Reported Indicator Surveys show that hip replacements improve an individual’s quality of life – mobility, activity, pain – by around 20%.

“Health systems can and must do better to improve the health of our populations. Measuring how health systems change people’s lives for the better is essential if we are to put resources where they can have most effect,” said Stefano Scarpetta, OECD Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

€200 million to promote European agri-food products in and outside the EU

EU ready to relinquish its internal tax havens

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

Inspired by orange peel, this ‘plastic’ packaging is totally compostable

Few countries are pricing carbon high enough to meet climate targets

Ηealth’s foundation is falling apart: what can we do about it?

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

Implementation of tax transparency initiative delivering concrete and impressive results

Food for millions in Yemen at risk of rotting in key Red Sea port, warns UN

Why cities hold the key to safe, orderly migration

Can big events really go plastic-free? A water capsule made from seaweed may be the answer

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

China Unlimited: an exclusive interview with the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

Mergers: Commission approves Varta AG’s acquisition of Energizer’s divestment business, subject to conditions

My Mothers

Hungary must enforce its foreign bribery offence against companies, including foreign subsidiaries

Saudi Arabia: UN experts push for prompt release of women human rights defenders

Summer 2018 Interim Economic Forecast: Resilient Growth amid increased uncertainty

More urgency needed to help increasing numbers ‘locked out’, before 2030, says UN’s Bachelet

Almost there: Equal healthcare for LGBTQI+

Let’s Learn

How solar is powering the Middle East towards renewables

Mental health and suicide prevention: the contradictory access in a reference city of southern Brazil

Ending the era of dirty textiles

How blockchain can manage the future electricity grid

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: World Breastfeeding Week kickoff, Second Ebola death on DR Congo’s eastern border, UN chief lauds climate activist Thunberg, Afghan bus attack, and outgoing UN agriculture chief hands over reigns

Mali: Presidential elections critical to consolidate democracy, says UN peacekeeping chief

Could the pandemic usher in a golden age of cycling?

London is becoming the world’s first National Park City

Coronavirus Global Response: EU sets up a Humanitarian Air Bridge

India’s 1.3 billion residents start 21-day lockdown – Today’s coronavirus updates

Lives at risk if wireless technology demands are not held in check: UN weather watchdog

Impact of high debt levels on least developed countries ‘cannot be overstated’, says UN

2020 Blue Economy Report: Blue sectors contribute to the recovery and pave way for EU Green Deal

Religious violence is on the rise. What can faith-based communities do about it?

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

How to build healthy cities and communities in the post-COVID world

EU to host international donors’ conference for Albania to help with reconstruction after earthquake

How a more integrated approach could help to end energy poverty

How can consumers be effectively protected from insurance sellers?

The EU to bear the cost of eventual sanctions against Russia

Mandatory Transparency Register: political meeting to restart negotiations

Euronest: delivering reforms is the best way forward for EU’s Eastern Partners

Which EU countries have to correct their economic policies?

16 foods that are good for you – and the planet

Cybersecurity should be a source of hope, not fear. Here are 5 reasons why

3 things to know about women in STEM

Countries violate rights over climate change, argue youth activists in landmark UN complaint

Vienna has the world’s best quality of living

State aid: Commission expands Temporary Framework to further support micro, small and start-up companies and incentivise private investments

UN Afghan Mission ‘outraged’ by deadly Taliban attack in Kabul, as hardline group threatens election violence

Claude Akpokavie, Senior ILO Adviser:“Engaging in policy debates and organizing workers, are two key challenges faced by unions in Export processing zones”

4 ways industry can make supply chains more sustainable

The future of science could be in your gut. Here’s why

Preparing medical students being digitally as well as socially responsible

Things are bad and getting worse for South Africa. Or are they?

Joint advocacy letter template to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

How we can win the war against antibiotic resistance

Collective action now, the only way to meet global challenges, Guterres reaffirms in annual report

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s