Economic ResearchPublicationsSpecialsHealth market – engine of growth

Health market – engine of growth

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Against the backdrop of foreseeable demographic changes, reform of the health system is urgently needed. Basically, the same applies as in the case of pensions – the best insurance against demographically-related spending increases is a greater emphasis on capital funding. But, despite all the difficulties, the rosy outlook for the health market in the long tem should not be forgotten.


, Jul 31, 2004

The discussion is now focusing on how best to fund the health sector. This needs to weigh as little as possible on labor costs and serve the long-term financing of the health sector, but not be driven by redistribution motives. Just as important as the funding decision are further reforms surrounding the provision of health services. More competition at all levels is the best guarantee to extract the efficiency reserves available in the system while at the same time safeguarding or improving quality. The groundwork to help the health system cope with the challenges ahead needs to be laid today.

In this report we attempt to gauge trends on the German health market over the next 15 years, that it is before the largest demographic changes have fully worked through. We come to the conclusion that growth in the health sector will be only marginally above-average and that, given the available potential to boost efficiency, the impact on employment in the key areas nursing care, hospitals, out-patient care and pharmaceuticals market will be limited. However, some sectors offer outstanding possibilities for growth, for example medical technology; but the outlook in areas such as “functional food“ and wellness services is also well above-average. In the long term the growth prospects for the health market are very good.

Dr. Jürgen Stanowsky
Sabine Schmax
Rolf Sandvoß