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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


FLORIDO ALBA, Francisco; GARCIA-AGUA SOLER, Nuria; MARTIN REYES, Ángel  and  GARCIA RUIZ, Antonio J. Crisis, Public Spending on Health and Policy. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2019, vol.93, e201902007.  Epub Sep 07, 2020. ISSN 2173-9110.


The Spanish economic crisis began in 2008 and according to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness it concluded in 2014. During the crisis the main macro-economic indicators had an adverse evolution and the effects have lasted for more than six years to the present. Aim: To assess the influence on public spending (health and pharmaceutical) that the governing policies have had and the time of crisis suffered.


Public expenditure per inhabitant (health and pharmaceutical) is compared according to the study period (pre, crisis and post), the political ideology of the ruling party (conservative / progressive) and each autonomous community in reference to GDP per inhabitant in each of they respect the national average (poor, average or rich) according to the quartiles. The sources of the data have been the National Statistics Institute (GDP and inhabitants of each Autonomous Community and study period) and the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality (public health and pharmaceutical expenditure). The statistical procedures (SPSS v24) included descriptive and inferential analysis for public healthcare and pharmaceutical expenditure according to the period of study and ideology. There was also a regression fit to know the relative importance of predictor varibles.


During the crisis period there were differences in public health expenditure per inhabitant in the different types of Autonomous Communities (poor / medium / rich) and according to political ideology (p <0.05). Public pharmaceutical expenditure was € 327 / inhab (pre-crisis) to € 366 / inhabitant in the final period of the study. There were statistically significant differences in pharmaceutical expenditure according to the different types of CCAA. Likewise, differences were found in per capita pharmaceutical expenditure between the Autonomous Communities run by conservatives and type of Autonomous Communities throughout the study period.


The community pharmaceutical expenditure per capita has decreased by more than 13% since 2006 until 2017, while the hospital pharmaceutical expenditure has increased by more than 84%. Rich regions invest more in the health care costs and the poor more than drugs.

Keywords : Health expenditure; Pharmaceutical expenditure; GDP; Economic crisis; Investment in health; Politic ideology.

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