National Health Expenditure
(in billions of dollars)
Total National Health Expenditure as a Percent of Gross National Product
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The two charts show the national health expenditure rom 1960 to 1978 and their percentage in the gross national product each year.
The national health expenditures, which were the total of the public and the private health expenditures, increased every year from 1960 to 1978. They were 30 billion dollars in 1960 and increased to 100 billion in 1973, with an aveerage increase of over 5 billion a year. Then from 1973, they increased much faster. By 1978, the figure was nearly 200 billion, with an average of 11 billion each year. The total increase in 19 years was nearly eight times.
The increase of national health expenditure resulted from the increase of both the public and the private health expenditures. The spending in the public health service in 1969 was 10 billion dollars, but increased to 80 billion dollars in 1978, with an increase of eight times. The increae in the first years, however, was not very fast. In 1960, the spending was 10 billion; in 1973, it was 40 billion. The average increase was 2.3 billion a year. But after 1973, the increase was much faster. In the last five years, there was an increase of 40 billion, with an average increase of 8 billion every year. This trend was also ture of the private health expenditure. They were 30 billion in 1960 and 78 in 1976; and the average incrrease for each year was three billion. But in the last three years, there was an increase of 40 billion, over 13 billion a year on the average.
The sharp increase of the health expenditures is reflected to some extent in their percentage in the national gross product each year. The percentage kept going up thoughout the period. It was 5.7 percent in 1960 and rose to 9.8 percent in 1978, with some sharp rises in 1961, 1964, 1971 and 1975.
It is difficult to know the reasons for the great increase of the national health expenditure, but the increse of the private health expenditures was obviously due to the fact that people were willing to spend more money for their health or more people were willing to use thhe private health service. The public health expenditures on the other head was perhaps a result of the increased spending by the government for public health. Besides, the improved facilities, the adoption of advanced eqiupment, and the use of new and expensive drugs may also have been the causes of the increase of the total health expenditures.
A comparison of the two charts reveals that though the total health expenditures increased drastically, their percentage in the national gross product did not rise so sharply. This shows that the national economy was deveeloping very ast from 1960 to 1978.