Authors:Petra Baji, Márta Péntek, Imre Boncz, Valentin Brodszky, Olga Loblova, Nóra Brodszky, and László Gulácsi
In the past few years, several papers have been published in the international literature on the impact of the economic crisis on health and health care. However, there is limited knowledge on this topic regarding the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The main aims of this study are to examine the effect of the financial crisis on health care spending in four CEE countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) in comparison with the OECD countries. In this paper we also revised the literature for economic crisis related impact on health and health care system in these countries. OECD data released in 2012 were used to examine the differences in growth rates before and after the financial crisis. We examined the ratio of the average yearly growth rates of health expenditure expressed in USD (PPP) between 2008–2010 and 2000–2008. The classification of the OECD countries regarding “development” and “relative growth” resulted in four clusters. A large diversity of “relative growth” was observed across the countries in austerity conditions, however the changes significantly correlate with the average drop of GDP from 2008 to 2010. To conclude, it is difficult to capture visible evidence regarding the impact of the recession on the health and health care systems in the CEE countries due to the absence of the necessary data. For the same reason, governments in this region might have a limited capability to minimize the possible negative effects of the recession on health and health care systems.
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