Saturday, January 19, 2008

Health expenditures

World Health Organization began collecting cross-country health expenditure data since 2000. Its World Health Report publishes the figures each year. As it continuously updates the data each year, the latest report must be consulted.

The Report offers data on public and private health expenditures, external resources for health (ie. foreign aid, including NGOs, on health), out-of-pocket expenditure (ie. expenditures directly paid by households), and private prepaid plans (ie. private insurance spending).

Government health expenditure data is available as % of GDP, as % of total government expenditures, in per capita terms in US dollars, and in per capita terms in international dollars (ie. PPP adjusted).

For years 1998-2002, World Development Indicators 2005 and World Health Report 2005 Statistical Annex (see tables 5 and 6) provide the data.

For year 1997, World Health Report 2004 Statistical Annex (see tables 5 and 6) offers the data.

For year 1995-6, World Health Report 2002 Statistical Annex (see table 5) offers the data.

For years 1990-1996, see

Eduard Bos, Vivian Hon, Afkiko Maeda, Gnanaraj Chellaraj, and Alexander Preker (1999) Health, Nutrition, and Population Indicators: A Statistical Handbook (Washington, D.C.: World Bank)
See Table 2. Pages 70-71, however, says, "the time series data should be interpreted with caution" because "data for each country are not necessarily from the same source." Some data in this book are reproduced in World Health Report 1999, Annex Table 1).

For 1990, see

C.J.L. Murray, R. Govindaraj, and P. Musgrove (1994)
"National Health Expenditures: A Global Analysis"
Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 72(4): 623-637.

This paper was first written as a background paper for the World Development Report 1993, and, according to Bos et al. (1999, p. 6), "The World Bank's World Development Report 1993: Investing in Health was the first major effort to compile health expenditures for all developing countries." Bos et al. (1999) is "essentially an expanded update of that 1993 work" (Ibid.).

The paper's annex provides a table of public health expenditures, private health expenditures, aid flows for health, and total health expenditures (as % of GDP, in 1990 US$, and in 1990 US$ per capita) with clear indications of countries for which the data is predicted by regression analysis. It's probably best avoided to use the same data published in World Development Report 1993 (Table A.9) and in World Health Report 1995 (Annex 3 Table A1) because these reports cite the working paper version.

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