articles | 11 March 2022

Cyprus lags behind EU in health spending

Although Cyprus recorded the largest annual increase in the ratio of government expenditure devoted to health to GDP among EU states in 2020, it still lags behind the EU27 average, according to figures released by Eurostat on Friday.

These show that in 2020, Cyprus had the seventh lowest ratio of health expenditure in the EU with 5.9% of GDP, below the EU27 average of 8%, still well up on the 3.5% the previous year.

Eurostat said that in 2020, health remained the second-largest function of general government expenditure in the EU, following social protection.

Government expenditure on health increased by 1 percentage point (pp) compared with 2019 (8.0% of GDP in 2020 compared with 7.0% of GDP in 2019).

The increase is due to both a decrease in nominal GDP and an increase in government expenditure on health (€1,073 billion in 2020 compared with €978 billion in 2019), mainly related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

EU-wide, the most significant categories of health expenditure were hospital services (3.4% of GDP), outpatient services (2.5% of GDP) and ‘medical products, appliances and equipment’ (1.2% of GDP).

In 2020, Czechia and Austria (both 9.2%) and France (9.0%) recorded the highest ratios of government expenditure devoted to health to GDP among EU Member States. Meanwhile, Latvia (4.8% of GDP), Poland and Ireland (both 5.4% of GDP) recorded the lowest ratios.

The EU member state recording the largest increase in the ratio of government expenditure devoted to health to GDP was Cyprus (5.9% in 2020 compared with 3.5% in 2019), followed by Malta (7.2% of GDP in 2020 compared with 5.2% of GDP in 2019) and Hungary (6.4% of GDP in 2020 compared with 4.5% of GDP in 2019).

Source: Cyprus Mail

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