EUROPEAN PAPERS ON THE NEW WELFARE

Health Care System in the Industrialised Countries and the Role of Private Insurance

In the last few years, the spread has widened: from 1997 to 2003, in the United States expenditure grew by 4.3% as compared to a 1.9% rise in GDP.; in the United Kingdom the increase accounted for 5.2% and 2.7% respectively; in Germany the increase accounted for 1.7% and 1.2% respectively. Remarkable is also the growth spread in the Eastern European countries: in Hungary, expenditure grew by 7.7% as compared to 4.4%

Table 1: Trends in health expenditure
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Source: OECD Health Data 2005. (1) 2002 figures.

As to the future trend in expenditure, population ageing will continue to affect its growth. Eurostat projections (Europop 2004 baseline) indicate that between 2004 and 2050, in the EU the population over the age of 65 will rise from 16.5% to 29.4%; in the same period of time, the number of persons aged 80 and over is expected to increase from 4% to 11%. In Italy, where there is a remarkable population ageing process, the same percentages will rise from 19.2% to 33.8% (people aged 65) and from 4.8% to 13.4% (people aged 80+).


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