The OECD Joint Network of Senior Budget and Health Officials


Given the challenges faced by health systems, an effective dialogue across government agencies responsible for health outcomes is critical. To help facilitate this dialogue, the OECD Joint Network of Senior Budget and Health Officials brings together people from ministries of finance, health and social security agencies.

Over the years, the Network has provided an effective space for government officials to openly discuss challenges and solutions to the fiscal sustainability of health systems. Since 2015, this Network has expanded beyond OECD member countries, in partnership with the World Health Organization, The Global Fund and other international institutions. Regional networks exist in Asia, Central Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Projected health expenditure as a share of government expenditure, OECD average by scenario


Source: OECD Health Division projections, 2019.‌

Health expenditure has typically outpaced economic growth, with the latest OECD modelling projecting total health expenditure to reach over 11% of GDP by 2040, up from 9% in 2017. To fund this increase, OECD countries would need to dedicate 19% of public budgets to health, on average, by 2040.

Budget and health officials face the shared challenge of improving efficiency and effectiveness, and controlling growth in health spending, without compromising important achievements in access and quality.


Projected health expenditure to 2040 under different scenarios:


base policy scenario: policies remain similar to how they are today

cost control: effective cost containment policies that offset health spending drivers

cost pressure: less effective cost containment policies are combined with rising public expectations on health care services and the introduction of expensive new technologies


Learn more on our work on Health expenditure.



OECD Health Financing Diagnostic

The OECD Health Financing Diagnostic provides a rapid assessment of the sustainability and resilience of health financing policies in light of COVID-19 and other possible future system shocks. The diagnostic includes key health financing pillars of resource mobilisation, budgetary governance, and resource allocation decisions in the health sector. Using information from the diagnostic, the OECD will map countries to international best practices in health financing, helping governments identify where to focus their reform efforts.

The presentation of the OECD Health Financing Diagnostic will take place at the 3rd Edition of the Paris Peace Forum 2020. More information on the forum at


OECD Journal on Budgeting – Special Issue on Health

The OECD Journal on Budgeting provides insights on leading-edge institutional arrangements, systems and instruments for the allocation and management of resources in the public sector. This special issue on health consists of seven articles, including:

  • Budgeting practices to improve health system performance in the Latin America and Caribbean region
  • Decentralisation in the health sector and responsibilities across levels of government
  • Measuring the productivity of the health care system; the experience of the United Kingdom

Read the OECD Journal on Budgeting: Special Issue on Health, Volume 19, Issue 3


MEETINGS OF the Joint Network

The meetings of the OECD Joint Network on Fiscal Sustainability of Health Systems provide a valuable space for health and finance officials to increase their understanding of policy responses at the intersection of health policy and public finance. The Joint Network holds annual meetings for OECD member countries in Paris and regional network meetings for members and non-members. The regional meetings are held in partnership with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the World Health Organization.

OECD member countries network:

Regional networks:



Country case studies on health financing and budgeting practices for health:

Further reading


Through the OECD Joint Network of Senior Budget and Health Officials, the OECD Secretariat provides expertise on health budgeting, expenditure and public management to help public sector officials improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health financing. In particular the Secretariat’s experts provide:

  • Country reviews of national and subnational health budgeting systems to benchmark with international practices and provide policy recommendations
  • In-depth topic specific analysis to support policy design, implementation and review
  • Support in the use of spending reviews in the health sector to enable health administrations to prioritise health resources effectively over time
  • Training through knowledge workshops and tailored capacity building initiatives

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