Health systems statistics
Total expenditure on health as percentage of GDP
General government expenditure on health as percentage of total general government expenditure
Per capita total expenditure on health at international dollar rate
Rationale for use
Health financing is a critical component of health systems. There is a wide range of indicators that need to be monitored. The selected indicators summarize national expenditure on health.
Total health expenditure as percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Percentage of total general government expenditure that is spent on health.
Total health expenditure is the sum of general government expenditure on health and private expenditure on health in a given year (in international dollars).
GDP is the value of goods and services provided in a country by residents and non-residents without regard to their allocation among domestic and foreign claims. This corresponds to the total sum of expenditure (consumption and investment) of the private and government agents of the economy during the reference year.
General government expenditure includes consolidated direct outlays and indirect outlays, including capital of all levels of government. Social security institutions, autonomous bodies, and other extra-budgetary funds.
International dollars are derived by dividing local currency units by an estimate of their Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) compared to US dollar, i.e. a measure that minimizes the consequences of differences in price levels existing between countries.
Health expenditure data are based on National Health Accounts (NHA), which synthesize financing and spending flows recorded in the operation of a health system. However, only a limited number of countries produce full NHA.
Other national sources include public expenditure reports, statistical yearbooks and other periodicals, budgetary documents, national account reports, statistical data on official web sites, nongovernmental organization reports, academic studies and reports and data provided by government ministries and offices.
The United Nations National Account Statistics are the main source for GDP for most countries.
General government expenditure obtained from national accounts of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and International Monetary Fund (IMF) government finance statistics.
Methods of estimation
Estimates for total health expenditure per capita are based on NHA or multiple other sources provided to WHO and partners by the countries or publicly available. Ratios are represented in per capita terms by dividing the expenditure figures by population figures. These per capita figures are expressed first in US dollars at an average exchange rate which is the observed annual average number of units at which a currency is traded in the banking system. It is then also presented in international dollar estimates which, as noted above, minimizes the impact of price differentials between countries.
Lack of availability and lack of standardization of NHA limits estimation and comparison .