Tuesday, November 12, 2019
East European OECD countries underperform on life expectancy, premature death and health risks; health spending is lower
- An unhealthy workforce plus population ageing will put pressures on both availability for work and staffing to care for the aged and infirm.
- Governments have been prepared to spend more on healthcare professionals’ pay for the sake of staff retention, given the lure of emigration.
- Poles are concerned about the quality of healthcare but not enough to swing the October 2019 elections against ruling Law and Justice.
The OECD’s eight Central European and Baltic (CEB) countries lag behind the others in many health indicators, according to the 36-strong organisation’s Health at a Glance 2019. Seven of the eight are among the twelve OECD members with below-average life expectancy; all eight have below-average health expenditure per capita. CEB performs relatively well only for obesity.
Given the positive association between spending and outcomes, projections showing expenditure as a share of GDP rising by 1.4 percentage points in 2015-30 across the OECD but either rising more slowly or actually falling in CEB suggest that regional governments seem not to regard public health as a high priority.
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