EC Report: Joint Replacement Surgeries on the Rise
A new report issued by the European Commission and the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD), Health at a Glance: Europe 2010, shows health-related spending by European governments increasing year over year, with the public sector accounting for the bulk of financing. On average, EU members spent 8.3% of GDP on health-related expenses compared to 7.3% in 1998. Countries including Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France allocate more than 10% of GDP on health, while Cyprus and Romania spend less than six percent. Of particular significance to the medical device industry is data showing growing rates joint replacement surgeries in the EU. Hip replacement procedures have increased by one-third between 1998 and 2008, while knee replacements have increased more than twofold over the same period due to factors such as technology and surgical advances as well as demographic trends. Countries with the highest rates of joint replacement procedures include Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Norway and Switzerland.