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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

BLANCO MORENO, Ángela; URBANOS GARRIDO, Rosa  and  THUISSARD VASALLO, Israel John. Real per capita health spending by age and sex in Spain (1998-2008): changes and effects on public healthcare expenditure projections. Gac Sanit [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.3, pp.220-225. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2012.09.004.

Objectives: To analyze changes in real per capita spending by age and sex from 1998 to 2008 in Spain, and to assess their effects on public healthcare expenditure projections. Methods: Age- and sex-related expenditure profiles in constant terms were estimated for the Spanish population for 3 distinct years (1998, 2003 and 2008) by using data from hospital records and several National Health Surveys. These profiles were used to compare actual healthcare expenditure for 2003 and 2008 with the projections obtained by considering 1998 as the base year and by applying the methodology used by the Working Group on Aging of the European Union. Results: The average annual growth rate of real per capita spending per person from 1998 to 2008 was 2.79%, which was higher than the GDP per capita growth rate (1.90%), basically due to its high rate of increase in the second half of the decade. From 1998 to 2008, per capita healthcare expenditure increased in most age groups, particularly in the groups aged 45-49 years, 60-64 years and 75 years and older. Projections of per capita expenditure in constant terms covered the real value observed for 2003, but were below the real value for 2008. Conclusions: Changes in the quantity and quality of healthcare services consumed by each person are an important factor in changes in healthcare expenditure and must be included in spending projections.

Keywords : Healthcare expenditure; Real benefit; Healthcare use. Aging; Spending projections; Sustainability.

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