Global health spending on the rise - WHO report


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) has found spending on health is growing faster than the rest of the global economy, accounting for 10 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP). 

The Public Spending on Health: A Closer Look at Global Trends report shows spending is increasing more rapidly in low- and middle-income countries (close to 6% on average) than in high-income countries (4%). It shows the distribution of health spending is unequal, with the top 10 countries spending around US$5,000 (€4,410) or more per person in 2016, while the bottom 10 countries spent less than US$30 (€26.50) per person. 

More than 35 per cent of health spending comes from out-of-pocket expenses, with governments providing an average of 51 per cent of a country’s health spending. It notes, as domestic spending increases, the proportion of funding provided by external aid has dropped to less than 1 per cent of global health spending. Almost half of these external funds are devoted to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

In low- and middle-income countries, new data suggest that more than half of health spending is spent on primary health care, however less than 40 per cent of all spending on primary health care comes from governments.