Consequences of Reaching Spending Targets - Deficits

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Reaching health expenditure targets or constraints can create financial burden on the government in the form of a budget deficit, affecting its ability to provide other services. In certain countries, tax-payers are required to pay more in social contributions, premiums or taxes. Governments might implement cost-containment policies that reduce administrative costs, change provider payment mechanisms, or increase patient user fees.

The map above shows the countries that resort to creating or increasing budget deficits to finance health care expenditures once targets have been reached (source: OECD).