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Rich Countries Feel the Pinch of Rising Health Costs: OECD

by VR Sreeraman on June 30, 2010 at 11:45 AM
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 Rich Countries Feel the Pinch of Rising Health Costs: OECD

Health care spending is rising faster than economic growth in leading industrialised countries, with higher expected medical costs set to impose tough choices on governments, the OECD said Tuesday.

Health spending in the 31-member Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development jumped from 7.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2000 to 9.0 percent in 2008.

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The OECD attributed the upward pressure to technological changes, population growth and ageing.

The study found that the United States spent 7,538 dollars per person on health care in 2008, more than double the average 3,000 dollars for all OECD countries.
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The next biggest spenders were Norway and Switzerland, spending about 50 percent more than the OECD average.

"Given the urgent need to reduce their budget deficits, many OECD governments will have to make difficult choices to sustain their health care systems: curb the growth of spending on health, cut spending in other areas or raise taxes," the OECD said.

Source: AFP
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