Financial sustainability

AN INVESTMENT RATHER THAN A COST: A NEW APPROACH

Health is a precondition for economic prosperity and ensuring populations remain healthy makes good financial sense. Healthcare expenditure is recognised as growth-friendly expenditure; when efficient and cost-effective, it can increase the quantity and productivity of labour by increasing healthy life expectancy. Yet current ways of thinking about healthcare expenditure see healthcare simply as a cost. And healthcare costs are rising. Currently the average healthcare spending of European countries is 8.7% of GDP and could surpass 10% if nothing is done. Short-term cost-cutting measures can have long-term negative results. How can countries reduce the gap between resources and expenses? There are several options:

• Factoring in the financial benefits that result from high-quality healthcare
• 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

Financial sustainability

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