cubierta_DT 2003_7

PublicationWorking Papers

Gasto sanitario y envejecimiento de la población en España

José Antonio Herce San Miguel, Namkee Ahn, Javier Alonso Meseguer

Social Sciences > Demography, Public Policy

Population ageing poses a formidable challenge to the national healthcare system, as per capita healthcare costs increase rapidly with age. This working paper estimates future healthcare costs combining population projections and age-specific healthcare expenditure. It also looks at self-reported health status, the use of medical services, pharmaceutical consumption, disability status and private healthcare expenditure. In general, the conclusions are the same: a worsening health status and a growing use of medical services with age.

One interesting finding is that among the older population health status seems to improve over time as measured by the capacity to perform various daily activities, which may affect future healthcare expenditure. With respect to private healthcare, the study finds that the usage rate increases significantly with the level of education and income, which implies a continuous increase going forward in the private health system as levels of education and income rise.