Advanced pharmacotherapies have changed the therapy practices of many diseases. The treatment of patients has also developed through the progress made in diagnostics, gene technology and advanced therapies.
Statistics highlight these changes. Treatment periods for many diseases have become shorter and fewer. Day surgery becomes more frequent. The resources of specialised medical care are more efficiently used when the treatment of many diseases is now the responsibility of primary healthcare or even outpatient care.
Pharmaceutical therapies are less expensive than institutional care
The benefits of advanced pharmacotherapies are easily hidden if the focus in on reimbursement expenditure only. Efficient pharmacotherapies may have increased the reimbursements paid by Kela, but medication has also helped society to save money in the treatment of several diseases.
The changes in the treatment of diseases will continue when primary healthcare and outpatient care will play the central role once the reform of the social welfare and healthcare systems has been implemented. The changes will probably mean overall savings and more efficient specialised medical care although individual cost items might grow.
Total Health Care Expenses in Finland
Health Expenditure by Source of Finance
Health Care Functions as a Share of Total Expenditure
Health Care Expenditure trend
Total Expenditure as Share of GDP in Some OECD-Countries