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Iceland at the Bottom

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Iceland at the Bottom

Landspítali

Landspítali National University Hospital. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Nowhere among OECD member countries is as little spent on investment in infrastructure of the healthcare system as in Iceland and Mexico, according to Landspítali University Hospital Director Páll Matthíasson, RÚV reports. A new OECD report shows Iceland way behind other Nordic countries when it comes to investing in healthcare.

In 2014, healthcare spending amounted to 8.9 percent of Iceland’s gross domestic product. Other Nordic nations, by comparison, spent 9.3-11.2 percent of their GDP on healthcare that year, with Sweden at the top. On average, European Union nations spend 10 percent of their GDP on healthcare.

It is of note that funding for healthcare in Iceland has changed little since 2010, when it was 8.8 percent, but it was expected to be at that level last year after reaching 8.9 percent in 2014.

Páll is worried about the situation: “I think people have to find a way to divide the pie in such a way that a larger proportion, and more money, goes to healthcare,” he stated.

Nowhere, he added, is Iceland in a worse position regarding healthcare within the OECD than when it comes to investing in healthcare infrastructure, where we’re at the bottom with Mexico.

During the election campaign, prior to the October 29 parliamentary election, all candidates spoke of the need to increase funding to the healthcare system. Therefore, Páll sees a reason for optimism. “We really have to increase funding, and it sounds like every single politician agrees,” he asserted.

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