30 OCTOBER 2018

Household health expenditure is increasing faster than public health expenditure

Estonian households’ health expenditure increased by 12% in last year, which is nearly twice as fast as public health expenditure growth, according to the statistics released today by the National Institute for Health Development.

Estonian health expenditure in 2017 was 1.52 billion euros. The growth was 7.6% in comparison with the previous year, public expenditure increased by 6.4% and household expenses by 12%. Growth in real terms was only 1.5%. The share of health expenditure in gross domestic product dropped to level 6.4% as in 2015.

The share of public sector in health expenditure was 75%. By financing schemes, the share of compulsory health insurance was 64% and the share of central government was 9%, the share of households amounted 24%. In 2016, the share of health insurance was 65%, households 23%, and central government 9%.

Public sector contribution to health expenditure increased by 68 million euros in a year, including a compulsory health insurance component of 61 million. Household expenditure increased by 37.7 million euros. The growth in absolute values in the public sector was similar to the last year growth, but the increase in household expenditure was significantly higher. Half of the increase in household expenditure in 2017 was due to the increase of dental care costs, a quarter of medical goods. The main services of households’ cost groups are: 31% for dental care, 20% for prescription drugs, 15% for over-the-counter medicines and 11% for outpatient specialist care.

There was no change in the breakdown of public sector expenditure by services. 60% of public health expenditure was made for active care, including 30% for inpatient care and 27% for outpatient care. Next major groups in public sector were ancillary services 15% and medical goods 14%.

Health expenditure statistics by financing schemes, revenues of financing schemes, services and providers are published in the Health statistics and research database.
The analysis will be published at the end of December 2018. Gross fixed capital formation in health system in 2017 will be released in spring 2019.