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The European voice for informal carers

France tops EU in health care spending

France, Germany and Sweden spend the most on health care in the EU as a proportion of their country’s gross domestic product, according to the latest figures released today by Eurostat.

In 2016, the most recent year with full data, France spent 11.5 percent of GDP on health care. Germany and Sweden spent 11.1 and 11 percent respectively.

All 19 EU countries that have corresponding data recorded higher spending per GDP in 2016 than in 2011, except for Greece and Cyprus. Spending per GDP in Greece — coming out of a devastating financial crisis and recession — fell by 22.4 percent in that time. By contrast, spending in Estonia and Bulgaria rose by 45.3 percent and 34.4 percent, respectively.

In absolute terms, Germany spent the most on health care in 2016 at €351 billion, followed by France at €257 billion and the United Kingdom at €233 billion.

Smaller and more sparsely populated countries had the highest spending per inhabitant. Luxembourg spent €5,613 per person, followed by Sweden at €5,123 and Denmark at €5,104.

Eurostat notes that a significant proportion of workers in Luxembourg live outside the country, so as non-residents they contribute to Luxembourg’s GDP without adding to health care expenses.

For comparison, spending per inhabitant in France, Germany and the United Kingdom in 2016 was €3,847, €4,271 and €3,566, respectively.

Romania’s health spending per GDP was significantly lower than all countries, at 5 percent. The next lowest were Luxembourg (6.2 percent), Latvia, (6.2 percent) and Poland (6.5 percent).

Bulgaria and Romania recorded the lowest spending per inhabitant, at €556 and €432, respectively.

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