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Health care reform will be a key fiscal policy challenge in both advanced and emerging economies in coming years. In the advanced economies, the health sector has been one of the main drivers of government expenditure, accounting for about half of the rise in total spending over the past forty years. These spending pressures are expected to intensify over the next two decades, reflecting the aging of the population, income growth, and continued technological innovations in health care. These spending increases will come at a time when countries need to undertake fiscal consolidation to reduce public debt ratios in the wake of the global financial crisis. In the emerging economies, health care reform is also a key issue, given substantial lags in health indicators and limited fiscal resources. For these economies, the challenge will be to expand public coverage without undermining fiscal sustainability. This book provides new insights into these challenges and potential policy responses, with cross-country analysis and case studies.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund