Past, present, and future of global health financing: a review of development assistance, government, out-of-pocket, and other private spending on health for 195 countries, 1995–2050
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AbstractBackground
Comprehensive and comparable estimates of health spending in each country are a key input for health policy and planning, and are necessary to support the achievement of national and international health goals. Previous studies have tracked past and projected future health spending until 2040 and shown that, with economic development, countries tend to spend more on health per capita, with a decreasing share of spending from development assistance and out-of-pocket sources. We aimed to characterise the past, present, and predicted future of global health spending, with an emphasis on equity in spending across countries.

Methods
We estimated domestic health spending for 195 countries and territories from 1995 to 2016, split into three categories—government, out-of-pocket, and prepaid private health spending—and estimated development assistance for health (DAH) from 1990 to 2018. We estimated future scenarios of health spending using an ensemble of linear mixed-effects models with time series specifications to project domestic health spending from 2017 through 2050 and DAH from 2019 through 2050. Data were extracted from a broad set of sources tracking health spending and revenue, and were standardised and converted to inflation-adjusted 2018 US dollars. Incomplete or low-quality data were modelled and uncertainty was estimated, leading to a complete data series of total, government, prepaid private, and out-of-pocket health spending, and DAH. Estimates are reported in 2018 US dollars, 2018 purchasing-power parity-adjusted dollars, and as a percentage of gross domestic product. We used demographic decomposition methods to assess a set of factors associated with changes in government health spending between 1995 and 2016 and to examine evidence to support the theory of the health financing transition. We projected two alternative future scenarios based on higher government health spending to assess the potential ability of governments to generate more resources for health.

Interpretation
Financing for global health has increased steadily over the past two decades and is projected to continue increasing in the future, although at a slower pace of growth and with persistent disparities in per-capita health spending between countries. Out-of-pocket spending is projected to remain substantial outside of high-income countries. Many low-income countries are expected to remain dependent on development assistance, although with greater government spending, larger investments in health are feasible. In the absence of sustained new investments in health, increasing efficiency in health spending is essential to meet global health targets.
Acceptance Date25/04/2019
All Author(s) ListGlobal Burden of Disease Health Financing Collaborator Network
Journal nameLancet
Year2019
Month6
Volume Number393
Issue Number10187
PublisherELSEVIER SCIENCE INC
Pages2233 - 2260
ISSN0140-6736
eISSN1474-547X
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Web of Science Subject CategoriesMedicine, General & Internal;General & Internal Medicine

Last updated on 2020-30-05 at 01:38