Global Spending On Health Reaches US$ 9.8 Trillion-Report

Kampala. A new report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that global spending on health has reached a record high, standing at 10.3% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). The report, titled the 2023 Global Health Expenditure Report, sheds light on the evolution of global health spending, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and indicates that global spending has now reached an estimated US$ 9.8 trillion.

Despite this significant increase in global health spending, the report highlights a glaring inequality in the distribution of this spending. While public spending on health increased in many parts of the world, low-income countries witnessed a decrease in government health spending and relied heavily on donor aid.

In 2021, approximately 11% of the world’s population lived in countries where per capita health spending was less than US$ 50 per person per year, while high-income countries averaged around US$ 4,000 per capita. Low-income countries accounted for only 0.24% of global health expenditure, despite comprising 8% of the world’s population.

The report underscores the critical role of sustained public financing in advancing universal health coverage, particularly amidst global challenges such as the climate crisis, conflicts, and other emergencies. Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage, emphasizes the urgent need for resilient health systems capable of withstanding such shocks while safeguarding people’s health and well-being.

Besides public spending, the report also examines spending by health service providers from 50 countries. It reveals that spending at hospitals, ambulatory care providers, and pharmacies accounted for the majority of health spending across all income groups. Notably, during the pandemic, countries adapted their service delivery mechanisms to address the new demands of battling COVID-19 while maintaining essential services.

Investments in health infrastructure also saw significant increases during the pandemic, with capital investments rising across all income groups. Government spending played a major role in driving this increase, particularly in low-income countries where government and donor support were crucial in bolstering investment.

The report underscores the importance of sustained investment in health to ensure resilient health systems and progress towards universal health coverage, particularly in the face of ongoing global challenges.

Verified by MonsterInsights