AN INVESTMENT RATHER THAN A COST: A NEW APPROACH
• Focusing on investing in prevention and early intervention: preventing disease is far more effective for improving patient well-being and provides better value than treatment
• Exploring new ways to improve patient outcomes while lowering costs such as measuring and tracking outcomes and rethinking how healthcare is supplied and paid for
One explanation for this approach to healthcare expenditure is a lack of joint budgeting between ministries. Healthcare is often lumped in the “costs” category rather than “investment” category due to the fact that the returns it produces aren’t seen in the healthcare line of the budget. Benefits of effective and efficient healthcare are most often seen in the social welfare budget or are simply folded into overall GDP rather than attributed to healthcare systems.
Joint budgeting between ministries helps governments measure the impact of different policies across the population and allows better decision-making.
European Commission, “Investing in Health”, Feb. 2013
Commission, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (2012), The Quality of Public Expenditures in the EU, European Economy, Occasional Papers 125, December 2012.
Spotlight on Prevention: When, Who and How?
Unhealthy lifestyles and lack of physical activity are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. Early prevention and diagnosis, better education, and above all collaboration among governments, patient organizations, and industry are crucial to prevent chronic diseases from arising.