Disparity in efficiency of healthcare financing in western countries
13 July 2006.
Munich, Germany. A
new research paper from Siemens Financial Services, entitled Healthcare
Affordability — The Global Challenge highlights the need for efficient
use of capital in Western healthcare systems. In order to make the wide
range of existing systems comparable, the paper also calls for a simple
method of measuring value for money from national healthcare regimes in
Europe and the US.
The paper has created a very basic starting-point. It suggests that
Germany’s healthcare system offers a comparably good return on investment in
relation to other key European countries’ and the US’ healthcare systems —
in terms of basic healthcare provision, life expectancy and cost.
Moreover, the paper focuses attention on technology and equipment finance
as an area which can be made more financially efficient in the short term.
It also shows the amount of capital that is 'frozen' in the system when
equipment is bought outright rather than leased, hired or otherwise
financed. The equivalent amount of this 'frozen' capital is estimated to be
over €10 billion in the main European
economies and some €20 billion or more
in the US. The authors especially suggest extended use of tailor-made
leasing and other forms of equipment financing solutions to meet
technological, financial and medical requirements.
ground-breaking efforts by the World Health Organisation to create a global
measurement model in 2000, the research study analyses the state of
healthcare funding in the US, the UK, France, Germany Italy, Spain and
Scandinavia. It notes that the US spends most on healthcare out of all the
countries studied, but — according to a rough prototype metric constructed
by the authors of the paper — delivers the least value in terms of
healthcare provision and life expectancy. This contrasts with Germany’s
healthcare system which has recently been subjected to strict financial
controls while is still able to ensure a high quality service.
therefore raise the issue of efficient use of capital in Western world
healthcare systems. The paper estimates the amount of capital that is
'frozen' in the system when equipment is bought outright rather than leased,
hired or otherwise financed. Across all the healthcare systems studied, this
'frozen' capital currently can be estimated at over
€30 billion annually.
Regarding the study’s findings, Dr Herbert Lohneiß, Managing Director,
Siemens Financial Services, comments, "Healthcare consumption is on the rise
throughout Europe and the US. The question of what absolute proportion of
GDP is spent on healthcare is a political issue, but our research highlights
areas such as technology finance, where considerable financial efficiencies
can be gained in the short-term."
study is based on broad range of public and non-public sources and a
multitude of qualified interviews with experts of Siemens Financial Services
and Siemens Medical Solutions regarding global trends in healthcare system
and financing solutions.
Download research paper as PDF from the Siemens
Healthcare affordability — the global challenge