Progress in the prevention and treatment of diseases has contributed to remarkable improvements in life expectancy and quality of life in OECD countries in recent decades. At the same time, spending on health care continues to climb, consuming an ever-increasing share of national income: health expenditure now accounts for 9% of GDP on average in OECD countries, up from just over 5% in 1970.
This fourth edition of Health at a Glance provides the latest comparable data and trends on different aspects of the performance of health systems in OECD countries. It provides striking evidence of large variations across countries in indicators of health status and health risks, as well as in the inputs and outputs of health systems. For the first time, this publication also includes a chapter on new comparable indicators of quality of care, showing variations across countries in measures such as survival rates after heart attack, stroke and cancer.
This publication takes as its main basis OECD Health Data 2007, the most comprehensive set of statistics and indicators for comparing health systems across the 30 OECD member countries.