Health Professionals & Hospitals

Most countries spend the largest part of their health expenditure on hospitals. Physicians and hospitals function in a variety of settings and represent the cornerstones of every healthcare system.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on hospitals. Despite earlier warnings, hospitals around the world were not prepared for this pandemic. The importance of intensive care bed density and the lack of supplies required to handle such a scenario, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and other vital medical resources, became apparent. Many countries also faced medical staff shortages, with employee exposure to the coronavirus and economic layoffs playing a big part in the problem. Ultimately, hospitals and health professionals represent the backbone of a country's health system and assessing their quality relies upon the accessibility and affordability of care and treatment.

Highest hospital density
Highest hospital bed density
Highest intensive care bed density

Industry Insights



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Market size

Hospitals account for the largest share of health expenditure
Distribution of national health care expenditure in the U.S. from 2015 to 2019, by category
Further details: Visit original statistic

In 2019, the hospital services market size was valued at 8.22 trillion U.S. dollars and expected to surpass 15.45 trillion by 2027. In the U.S., it is estimated that hospitals contribute up to three trillion U.S. dollars to the economy through spending per year. Nonetheless, the U.S. spent 34 percent of its health expenditure on hospitals in 2018 and has the highest health expenditure worldwide. In 2018, the United States spent about 17 percent of its GDP on health expenditure.

Hospitals worldwide
Hospitals in the U.S.
Health care in South Korea

Market segment

Public and private hospitals
Total number of not-for-profit and for-profit privately owned hospitals in select countries worldwide in 2019
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Hospitals function either on public or private ownership. Public hospitals are primarily financed by the government, while private hospitals can be either profit-driven or non-profit. In 2018, the U.S. had around 1,910 publicly owned hospitals and 4,783 privately owned hospitals. The share of public and private hospitals varies from one country to another, depending on their health system, government, and income levels.

Americans without health insurance
Health professionals in Europe
Medical tourism in Europe

Industry trends

Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic
Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, recoveries, and deaths worldwide as of December 3, 2021
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Despite earlier warnings from organizations, hospitals were unprepared for an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries implemented lockdowns to avoid hospital bed overcapacity, staff shortages, and a lack of supplies and vital medical equipment. The different preparation levels of countries prompted a global discussion. Ultimately, hospital functioning is under increased scrutiny and is bound to evolve to better respond to future scenarios.

COVID-19 in the U.S.
COVID-19 vaccines

Industry leaders

How to assess the efficiency of hospitals
Predicted number of U.S. residents that would be affected if states achieved better health care performance as of 2020* (in millions)
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Hospitals are a pillar of any health system. These structures depend inherently on a country's health system and thus on its government. Hospitals are either measured in terms of structure density, hospital bed density, occupancy, length of stay, expenses, or funding. Perhaps the main criteria for an effective health system are how care and treatment are accessible and affordable.

Health expenditures in the U.S.

Industry Definition

Hospitals and health professionals are the backbones of any health system. This category provides key data on hospital structures and the professionals who help run them. Hospital infrastructures are bound to evolve as countries face aging populations, rises in prevalence of chronic diseases, increases in disposable income, and growth in penetration of health insurance.


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