Advances in Management and Applied Economics

Cluster shifts based on healthcare factors: The case of Greece in an OECD background 2009-2014

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  • Abstract


    The purpose of the present study is to explore the impact of the 2008 economic crisis on expenditure of OECD countries. Moreover, focusing on Greece, the researcher attempts to create homogenous groups of countries based on healthcare resources, in order to investigate possible shifts between groups during the crisis. The main body of the study is based on statistical information extracted from OECD and Eurostat databases. Descriptive statistics are used to present the data. The researcher uses k-means cluster analysis to create homogenous groups of countries. Following the beginning of the crisis in 2008, total health expenditure decreases in most OECD countries. Greece decreases public and out-of-pocket expenditures and manages to stabilize the number of doctors, which was rising before the crisis. Cluster analysis shows that Greece and Spain shift between clusters, leaving the core of the EU and joining low-income countries. The reforms implemented in Greece since 2008 have drastically decreased its expenditure which was in 2014 well below the OECD average. However, more structural reforms can still be implemented. Gradually decreasing the number of doctors while increasing the number of nurses would improve the efficiency of the system. Emphasis should also be placed in increasing managerial and organizational reforms.

    JEL classification numbers: H51, I18,

    Keywords: Health Expenditure, healthcare resources, k-means clustering, OECD, Greece, Economic crisis.