Tackling Wasteful Spending on Health

by Agnès Couffinhal, Karolina Socha-Dietrich, Ian Forde et al.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Publishing, 2017

306 pp. 3.7 MB

Tackling Wasteful Spending on Health says that at a time when public budgets are under pressure worldwide, it is alarming that around one fifth of health expenditure likely makes no or minimal contribution to good health outcomes. In other words, governments could spend significantly less on health care and still improve patients’ health. Efforts to improve the efficiency of health spending at the margin are no longer good enough. Strategies to reduce waste can be summed up as:

  • stop doing things that do not bring value: for example, unnecessary surgeries and clinical procedures; and
  • swap when equivalent but less pricy alternatives of equal value exist: for example, by encouraging the use of generic drugs, developing advanced roles for nurses, or ensuring that patients who do not require hospital care are treated in less resource-consuming settings.
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