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Ηealth expenditure in the greek healthcare system: an international comparison

Rekleiti Maria, Tananaki Maria, Kyloudis Panagiotis

Sunday, January 1, 2012

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Pages: 3-14


Introduction: It is a fact that health expenditures worldwide have been soaring in the last decade, and governments proclaim that this increase is unjustifiable and harmful for the healthcare systems sustainability, and also the sustainability of the respective financial systems as a whole.

Aim: The aim of the present study was  to explore  the methods of financing the Greek and other European health systems in combination with the way health expenditures have evolved and what they consist of.

Method: Greek and international literature was reviewed by using data bases such as Medline and Scopus; also the official Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publications were reviewed.

Results: Financial analysts and health economics specialists ascribe rising health expenditures to aging population, higher demand for medical services, higher rates of chronic conditions, more expensive medical technology, and higher expectations of the public for high quality healthcare services. Since these are the prevailing tendencies, specialists suggest that expenditures will rise even more. Nevertheless, it remains elusive how much the expenditures will rise, since OECD estimates that by 2050 spending will nearly double, while others foresee that spending will spiral out of control. More specifically for Greece, specialists based on official OECD figures have proposed the implementation of specific healthcare financing interventions, in order to control or even eliminate the factors that drive up spending without resulting in any better healthcare results.   

Conclusions:  There is a need for the implementation of specific healthcare financing interventions, which will help to control costs and increase the efficiency of health systems for the best possible results to be obtained.     

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