CEE: Health Care Expenses, by country
CountryShare of GDP,
in %
CzechiaCzechia9.1
CroatiaCroatia7.7
SloveniaSlovenia7.6
SlovakiaSlovakia6.4
EstoniaEstonia6.0
BulgariaBulgaria5.6
PolandPoland5.3
LithuaniaLithuania5.2
RomaniaRomania4.9
LatviaLatvia4.8
HungaryHungary4.4
  • Region: Central and Eastern Europe
  • Time period: 2022
  • Published: Mar 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 27, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Czechia leads in health care spending relative to GDP

Czechia allocates the highest proportion of its GDP to health care among the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, with a share of 9.1%. This commitment surpasses the nearest competitor, Croatia, by 1.4 percentage points, emphasizing Czechia's priority on health care within its economy.

Four countries spend below 5% of GDP on health care

Romania, Latvia, Hungary, and Lithuania are at the lower end of the spectrum, dedicating less than 5% of their GDP to health care. Specifically, Hungary has the lowest investment, with only 4.4%, indicating a potential area for policy review and increased funding to align with regional trends.

Estonia, Bulgaria, and Poland in the middle range

Estonia, Bulgaria, and Poland present a mid-range commitment to health care spending, with their shares of GDP at 6.0%, 5.6%, and 5.3%, respectively. These countries strike a balance between economizing and prioritizing health care within their budgets, showcasing varied approaches to health care funding in the CEE region.

The diversity in health care spending across the CEE

The data reveals a significant variance in health care spending as a share of GDP across the CEE region, ranging from Czechia's 9.1% to Hungary's 4.4%. This disparity indicates differing national priorities, economic capacities, and health care policies among the countries, reflecting the diverse approaches to health care financing in the region.

Slovenia and Slovakia prioritize health care differently

Despite their similar economic structures, Slovenia and Slovakia allocate distinct portions of their GDP to health care, at 7.6% and 6.4%, respectively. This difference highlights the variance in health policy and investment priorities even among countries with comparable economic backgrounds within the CEE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Central and Eastern European (CEE) country allocates the highest proportion of its GDP to health care?

Czechia allocates the highest proportion of its GDP to health care among the CEE countries, with a share of 9.1%.

Which four CEE countries spend less than 5% of their GDP on health care?

Romania, Latvia, Hungary, and Lithuania spend less than 5% of their GDP on health care, with Hungary having the lowest investment at 4.4%.

Terms and Definitions

CEE, or Central and Eastern Europe, refers to the region encompassing the countries located in the central and eastern part of the European continent. The region includes countries such as Poland, Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic among others. In economic literature, the term is often used to describe countries in this region that share similar economic structures and challenges.

Health care expenses refer to the costs incurred in the provision of health services. These can include costs associated with medical treatments, preventive care, pharmaceuticals, hospital stays, health research, and administration. They are usually shared among individuals, insurance providers, and the government.

Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, is a monetary measure of the market value of all finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. It serves as a comprehensive measure of a nation’s overall economic activity and is used to compare the economic health of different countries.

Health care systems are organized arrangements in which health care services are provided to populations. These systems may vary significantly from country to country and can include a wide range of services, from preventive and acute care, to long-term and palliative care.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a concept where all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without financial hardship. It includes the full spectrum of health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.

Per capita health expenditure pertains to the average amount of money spent on health care for each person in a certain population within a given time period. This figure is usually calculated by dividing the total health expenditure of a region or country by its total population.

Private health expenditure refers to the total health care spending by private entities, including households, commercial health insurance, non-profit institutions serving households, and direct service payments by private corporations.

Public health expenditure refers to the health care spending by the government, including spending on public health programs, government-run hospitals, and subsidies for health insurance or direct funding for health services.
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