Health Spending is Up—But Uneven

Around the world, countries’ health spending is outpacing the rest of the global economy, but out-of-pocket spending is still pushing millions into extreme poverty, according to a new WHO analysis.

On average, governments cover 51% of a nation’s health spend; while 35% is paid out-of-pocket, the report found.

In 2016, almost 10% of global GDP went to health spending—but most of that spend comes from wealthy nations, which have just 20% of the global population but account for 80% of health spending, The Telegraph reported.

The top 10 spenders shelled out $5,000 per person in 2016; the bottom 10 just $30, a gap that remains largely unchanged since 2000.

In response to the report, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed the importance of domestic health spending as countries work toward the achieving the SDGs: “Health spending is not a cost, it’s an investment,” he said.

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