High Health Expenditure Does Not Mean Longer Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy Vs Health Expenditure Over The Past 50 Years

Paying more for health care does not equal to significant benefit when it comes to duration of life. The difference in health expenditure around the world is impressive with a country like US, were health care costs are extremely high, and countries such as Spain and Australia where costs are much lower, but life expectancy is the same if not longer.

Another interesting observation is the relatively small improvement in life expectancy over the past 50 years despite massive investments in health care. There are obviously major limitations to these kind of analyses, for instance, childhood mortality drastically influences life expectancy. In other words the life expectancy at birth may be low due to the high childhood mortality so that once a person survives his/her childhood, he/she may live much longer than the median life expectancy.

Other limitations are related to the way heath expenditure is defined for the purpose of the analysis. Furthermore, crucial factors such as quality of life, are not taken into account despite playing a very important role. It is clear however that highly effective measures and treatments are needed in order to make a significant impact into our life expectancy.  Prevention can and should play a unique role in improving health while ensuring sustainable medical spending.


Health financing is reported as the annual per capita health expenditure and is adjusted for inflation and price level differences between countries (measured in 2010 international dollars).

Sources

World Bank – World Development Indicators

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Statistics

High Health Expenditure Does Not Mean Longer Life Expectancy last edit: 2018-02-22T21:15:30+00:00 da Luca

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