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Investigating Health Systems in the European Union: Outcomes and Fiscal Sustainability

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  • Madalina Ecaterina Popescu

    () (National Scientific Research Institute for Labour and Social Protection, 6-8 Povernei Street, 010643 Bucharest, Romania
    The Faculty of Economic Cybernetics, Statistics and Informatics, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 15–17 Dorobanti St., Sector 1, 010552 Bucharest, Romania)

  • Eva Militaru

    () (National Scientific Research Institute for Labour and Social Protection, 6-8 Povernei Street, 010643 Bucharest, Romania)

  • Amalia Cristescu

    () (National Scientific Research Institute for Labour and Social Protection, 6-8 Povernei Street, 010643 Bucharest, Romania
    The Faculty of Theoretical and Applied Economics, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 15–17 Dorobanti St., Sector 1, 010552 Bucharest, Romania)

  • Maria Denisa Vasilescu

    () (National Scientific Research Institute for Labour and Social Protection, 6-8 Povernei Street, 010643 Bucharest, Romania
    The Faculty of Economic Cybernetics, Statistics and Informatics, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 15–17 Dorobanti St., Sector 1, 010552 Bucharest, Romania)

  • Monica Mihaela Maer Matei

    () (National Scientific Research Institute for Labour and Social Protection, 6-8 Povernei Street, 010643 Bucharest, Romania
    The Faculty of Economic Cybernetics, Statistics and Informatics, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 15–17 Dorobanti St., Sector 1, 010552 Bucharest, Romania)

Abstract

Healthcare systems aim to provide access to good quality care, while ensuring equity and solidarity. The fiscal sustainability of healthcare systems has become a matter of concern in recent European Union (EU) debates, considering the ever increasing need for adequate healthcare determined by factors such as aging population, investments in technology and infrastructure, medical products and wages. Our paper seeks to measure the health system performances of the EU countries by building up a composite index, which will then be used as a tool in investigating the relationship between health performance and the fiscal sustainability of health systems. A principal components analysis (PCA) was applied to build the composite index through the use of the most relevant health indicators provided by Eurostat and the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. The composite index offers a comprehensive performance assessment and provides a clear ranking of the EU countries based on their health system performances. Further investigation of the link between health performance and fiscal sustainability revealed that higher ranks are associated with higher shares of health expenditures in gross domestic product (GDP), a large share of employment in the health sector, and higher duration of working life. These patterns are followed by efficient health systems, encountering reduced sustainability risks.

Suggested Citation

  • Madalina Ecaterina Popescu & Eva Militaru & Amalia Cristescu & Maria Denisa Vasilescu & Monica Mihaela Maer Matei, 2018. "Investigating Health Systems in the European Union: Outcomes and Fiscal Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(9), pages 1-28, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:9:p:3186-:d:168093
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    health systems; performance; composite index; fiscal sustainability; social development goals; principal components analysis; multiple correspondence analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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