OECD countries spent a record high on Health in 2001

According to a new publication by the OECD, “Health Data 2003” health care spending in 30 OECD member countries reached an all-time high of 8.4 per cent of GDP in 2001. This represents a 0.3 per cent increase from 2000.

Health care spending grew most, as percentage of GDP, in the United States (13.9 per cent), followed by Switzerland (10.9 per cent) and Germany (10.7 per cent).

According to the OECD, the increase in health care spending is "largely due to the rising cost of pharmaceuticals and the diffusion of modern medical technologies". As a result of the introduction of new and more expensive drugs, pharmaceuticals now make up over 20 per cent of health spending in France and Italy.

The analysis highlights that the origins of health risks have changed. While significant progress has been made in reducing tobacco consumption, obesity rates have increased in all European countries over the past 20 years, linked to poor eating habits and lack of physical activity.

 

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