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Ms. Evridiki Tsounta

(aged 65+ years) cost the U.K. health system five times more than those under 65, while the Federal Statistical Office of Germany (2004) reports that health costs for those aged 65-85 are at least twice as high as the German national average. Based on these findings, this study estimates the health spending (in percent of GDP) that ECCU countries could face in the next three decades under three scenarios: per capita health cost for the elderly (aged 65 years and above) (i) equals; (ii) is twice; and (iii) is five times the national average. 5 Demographic

International Monetary Fund

companies, the high-price Swiss market provides a testing ground, not unlike the (equally expensive) US and German markets for US and German companies. Health Cost across Cantons C. Financing of Health Care 70. Internationally, one can distinguish three basic types of health care systems . Following Oggier ( 2004 ), the key distinction is related to their financing: National health services are financed by general taxes. Medical infrastructure is organized by the state, and treatment is free of charge for every citizen. Examples include the UK and

Ms. Evridiki Tsounta
Despite the increasing interest in universal health care, little is known about the optimal way to finance, design, and implement it. This paper attempts to fill this gap by providing some general policy recommendations on this important issue. While most of the paper addresses the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) countries, its policy implications are applicable to any country. The paper finds that the best financing option is country-specific depending on a country’s economic, cultural, institutional, demographic and epidemiological characteristics, as well as political economy considerations. However, taxation should be the primary financing source. It also concludes that an appropriate and realistic benefit package would need to be designed to ensure the system’s financial viability. Regarding the optimal way to implement universal health care, certain preconditions are needed, including sound public administration, a small informal economy, and a transparent health financing system that builds social consensus.