Log in
Lost password
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  News


Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and : Health spending in Europe falls for the first time in decades

11/16/2012 | 06:51am US/Eastern

16/10/12-  Health spending fell across the European Union in 2010, as cash-strapped governments curbed outlays to help cut budgetary deficits, according to Health at a Glance: Europe 2012, a new joint report by the OECD and the European Commission.

This drop in spending per person and as a percentage of GDP reverses increases seen in the years before the economic crisis, when health spending per person grew two or three times faster than incomes in many countries.  From an annual average growth rate of 4.6% between 2000 and 2009, health spending per capita fell to -0.6% in 2010.  This is the first time health spending has fallen in Europe since 1975.

In Ireland, health spending fell 7.9% in 2010, compared with an average annual growth rate of 6.5% between 2000 and 2009. In Estonia, health expenditure per person dropped by 7.3% in 2010, following growth of over 7% per year from 2000 to 2009, with reductions in both public and private spending.  In Greece, estimates suggest that health spending per person fell 6.7% in 2010, reversing annual growth of 5.7% between 2000 and 2009.

The report cautions that the reduction or slowdown in spending in nearly all EU countries may have a long-term impact on health care outcomes.

Source: Health at Glance: Europe 2012 (based on OECD Health Data 2012; Eurostat Statistics Database; WHO Global Health Expenditure Database).

Spending on disease prevention accounts for only 3% of total health spending

Governments, under pressure to protect funding for acute care, are cutting other expenditures such as public health and prevention programmes. In 2010, on average across EU countries, only 3% of health budgets was allocated to prevention and public health programmes in areas such as immunisation, smoking, alcohol drinking, nutrition and physical activity. The report notes that spending on prevention now can be much more cost-effective than treating diseases in the future.

More than half of adults in the European Union are now overweight, and 17% are obese.  Obesity rates have doubled since 1990 in many European countries, and now range from 8% in Romania and Switzerland to over 25% in Hungary and the United Kingdom. Obesity and smoking are the major risk factors for heart disease and stroke which accounted for over one-third (36%) of all deaths across EU countries in 2010.

Finland, France and Hungary have recently introduced taxes on unhealthy food and drink as part of their efforts to counter obesity.  These "fat taxes" are designed to change eating habits, while at the same time generating public revenues that may be used to support other public health and prevention programmes.

The OECD and European Commission's Health at a Glance: Europe 2012 presents key indicators of health status, determinants of health, health care resources and activities, quality of care, health expenditure and financing in 35 European countries, including the 27 EU member states, 5 candidate countries and 3 EFTA countries.

Other findings from the report include:

  • Health spending as a share of GDP was highest in the Netherlands (12%) in 2010, followed by France and Germany (11.6%).  The share of GDP allocated to health was 9.0% on average across EU countries, down from 9.2% in 2009.

  • Doctors:  Despite concerns of shortages, the number of doctors per capita has increased in almost all EU member states over the past decade from an average 2.9 per 1 000 population in 2000 to 3.4 in 2010. Growth was particularly rapid in Greece and the United Kingdom.

  • Generalist/Specialist balance: There are now many more specialists than GPs in nearly all countries due to lack of interest in traditional "family medicine" practice and a growing remuneration gap. The slow growth or reduction in generalists raises concerns about access to primary care for certain population groups.

To know more

The electronic version of the report is available at:



For more information contact:

Mark Pearson (+33 1 45 24 92 69 or mark.pearson@oecd.org), OECD Health Division

Gaétan Lafortune (+33 1 45 24 92 67 or gaetan.lafortune@oecd.org), OECD Health Division

Frederic Vincent  (+ 32 229 87166 or Frederic.VINCENT@ec.europa.eu), European Commission

Follow the discussion on Twitter using #OECDHealth

distributed by
React to this article
Latest news
Date Title
06:34p RAVEN INDUSTRIE : ’ Engineered Films Division Announces New Wide-Width Fabrication Capacity
06:34p ZILLOW : From Theory to Practice in a Zillow Internship
06:34p KIBARAN RESOURCES : Financing Update for Epanko Graphite Project
06:33p VOLKSWAGEN : CEO says recall to start in January, be completed end-2016
06:32p Pipeline MLPs Are In Trouble - Here's Why
06:31p JAGUAR MINING : Reports Q3 2015 Gold Production
06:31p PETRODORADO ENERGY : Announces the Receipt of Amerisur Shares as Part Of Divestiture
06:31p PDC Energy Announces 2015 Third Quarter Investor Conference Call -- Thursday, November 5, 2015
06:31p OMA Reports a 14.0% Increase in September 2015 Passenger Traffic
06:29p KILLAM PROPERTIES : Announces proposed conversion to a real estate investment trust
Latest news
Hot News 
KOFAX : 5 Facts You Need to Know About Mobile
MAX PETROLEUM : Corporate update and Cancellation of admission to AIM
6D GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES : Change in Directors or Principal Officers (form 8-K)
TOMCO ENERGY : Still Faces Long Holliday Waiting For Improved Production System
GWG : Life, LLC Obtains Colorado and Utah Provider Licenses
Most Read News
06:00p AYLA NETWORKS : is “All-In” with Amazon Web Services
06:27p TSX gains on heavyweight resource stocks as oil jumps
06:09p Faint corporate praise for TPP as winners, losers sought
06:04p CITY OF SANTA FE NM : Flint, Michigan Public Health Emergency Related to Water No Concern for Santa Fe
06:04p MiddletonRaines+Zapata Named No. 1 on INSIDE Public Accounting's Fastest-Growing Firms List
Most recommended articles
06:33p VOLKSWAGEN : CEO says recall to start in January, be completed end-2016
06:27p TSX gains on heavyweight resource stocks as oil jumps
06:23p Norwegian Air CEO says $69 flights from U.S. to Europe around the corner
06:14p UAW threatens strike at Fiat Chrysler U.S. operations
06:09p Faint corporate praise for TPP as winners, losers sought