Private health expenditures dip in 2010

Israel remains one of the nations with the lowest healthcare spending in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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August 12, 2011 01:50
1 minute read.
Hadassah hospital

Hadassah hospital. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The level of national expenditures for health in 2010 – 7.5 percent of GDP – was the lowest level in the past decade and among the lowest in the OECD countries, according to a report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

The CBS said the figures reflect the relatively low expenditure on Israel’s health system compared to its Gross Domestic Product.

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Last year, there was a small decline in the proportion of private expenditure (copayments) for health, leaving it at 38%, compared to 62% coming from the public sector.

During 2008 and 2009, private spending accounting for 39% of spending on health. This was the lowest rate of private expenditures for healthcare since 2004, the report said. Despite this slight decline, Israel remains one of the nations with the lowest healthcare spending in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Public spending for health rose last year by 3% compared to 2009, the report said. Per capita expenditures in fixed prices rose by 1%, reaching NIS 61.2 billion.

This figure was comprised of all hospital, health fund and dental expenses in the public and private sectors, including costs for medications and building heath service infrastructure.

Of the 27 OECD countries, the US was far ahead in health expenditure, at 17.4% of its GDP; behind that were the Netherlands and France at 12%. The countries with the lowest health expenditures were Turkey (6.1%), Mexico (6.4%), South Korea (6.9%) and Estonia (7%).

Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman said he was “determined to continue [current] social policy in the health system to ease the public’s financial burden in health expenditures by reducing medication prices, canceling the wellbaby clinic fees and reforming dental care for children.

Ministry director-general Dr. Ronni Gamzu added that he hoped 2010 would be registered as a turnaround in private medical expenditures by continuing a decline instead of constantly rising. It was important to remember, he said, that Israel has room for improvement in private health expenditures. “We must continue to act daily to reduce the financial burden on the citizen.”


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