Israeli healthcare expenditure rises, remains below OECD average

While current national healthcare expenditure as a share of GDP is lower than average spend in OECD countries, Israel's expenditure was higher than 10 other OECD nations.

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August 19, 2019 04:11
1 minute read.
Israeli healthcare expenditure rises, remains below OECD average

Nurses take care of newborn babies at a nursery in Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

National healthcare expenditure grew by 4.3% in 2018, reaching NIS 101.2 billion ($28.54b.) or NIS 10,472 ($2,953) per person, according to annual figures published on Sunday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

As a proportion of Israel’s gross domestic product (GDP), health spending accounted for 7.6%. Despite the increased outlay, spending remained significantly below the OECD average of 8.8% of GDP.

A total of 40% of national healthcare expenditure in 2018 was funded by the state budget, including financing for health care providers and government health institutions, the construction of health facilities and the purchase of equipment for public hospitals. A further 24% of total expenditure was financed by health tax payments.

Private spending on medicines and medical services, including doctors, clinics and dental treatment, accounted for 21% of overall national  healthcare expenditure. Private insurance payments and expenses incurred by healthcare related nonprofits stood at 13% of national spending.

While current national healthcare expenditure as a share of GDP is lower than average spending in OECD countries, and in particular the United States (16.9%), Israel’s expenditure was higher than 10 other OECD nations. The lowest level of expenditure was found in Turkey and Luxembourg.

Since 2000, national healthcare expenditure as a proportion of GDP has remained relatively stable (between 6.9% and 7.4%), compared with a fluctuating OECD average ranging from 7.2% to 8.8%.

A comparison of international data also shows that the percentage of public funding for national health expenditure in Israel (64%) is lower than average public funding in OECD countries (74%). In Norway, where public funding is highest, 86% of health expenditure comes from government spending and compulsory health insurance.

In 2018, health care providers were responsible for 34% of all healthcare services. Private and public hospitals, doctors’ clinics and dentists provided 56% of all services.

Similar to previous years, government institutions such as psychiatric hospitals and community health centers provided 6% of all services. An additional 4% of healthcare services were provided by non-profit health organizations, including Magen David Adom.

Private and supplementary health insurance expenditure increased by 4.7% in 2018, the CBS said. Private insurance spending increased by some 10.3%, while supplemental insurance expenditure decreased by 2.6%.


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