Iceland’s current health expenditure amounted to 8.6% of GDP in 2019 and 8.4% in 2018, which is below the OECD average. The average current health expenditure among OECD countries was 8.8% of GDP in 2018 and the same share in 2019 according to estimates. The government’s current health expenditure share in total current health expenditure in Iceland is above the OECD average.

Total health expenditure amounted to 269 billion ISK in 2019, equivalent to 8.9% of GDP and has increased slightly as a share of GDP in the last decade but amounted to 8.8% in 2018.

The public health expenditure amounted to 224 billion ISK in 2019, equivalent to 7.4% of GDP in 2019. The share of private expenditure amounted to 44.6 billion ISK, close to 1.5% of GDP.

The share of public health expenditure has increased slightly in the period 1998-2019, but in 1998 the share was 80.6% of total health expenditure compared with 83.4% in 2019 – and has never been higher. The share of private expenditure has therefore decreased, from just over 19% of total health expenditure in 1998 to 16.6% in 2019.

In 2019, more than half of total health expenditure went towards hospital services but the operating structure of the public hospitals has undergone some changes in the past two decades as few of the public hospitals and health institutions providing hospital services have merged. In 1998 the institutions providing general hospital services were 23 while they were only 8 in 2019.

Around 28% of total health expenditure went towards outpatient services in 2019 and 13% towards medical goods. The remaining part went towards prevention and public health services, health administration and other health categories.

In the attached Statistical Series, the main figures regarding Icelandic health expenditure is presented for the years 1998-2019, classified by international classification systems and frameworks.

Health expenditure in Iceland 1998–2019 - Statistical series

Statistics