Countries around the world may have trouble maintaining sustainable health finance systems over the next 15 years.

Health care consultants at PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P., New York, are giving that message in a new analysis.

“Globally, health care is threatened by a confluence of powerful trends – increasing demand, rising costs, uneven quality, misaligned incentives,” the consultants write. “If ignored, they will overwhelm health systems, creating massive financial burdens for individual countries and devastating health problems for the individuals who live in them.”

The consultants tried to come up with a clearer understanding of the challenges and ideas for solutions by surveyed 580 health system executives in 27 countries and by conducted interviews with “120 health care thought leaders” in 16 countries.

Although costs are especially high in the United States, costs are rising at about the same rate in the United States and in other developed countries, and survey participants in Europe and Canada agree with the U.S. participants that individuals should share financial responsibility for paying for health care, the consultants write in their analysis.

Many survey participants believe that wellness, immunization and disease management programs can help health systems work better, but only 26% said government and private initiatives promoting better health have been effective, the consultants write.