- New data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show the UK spent 9.8% of its GDP on health in 2014.
- This is compared to an average of 9.7% across the other EU-15 countries.
- This follows a change in the way the OECD defines health spending, meaning more social and long-term care is included in the calculation.
The latest data from the OECD change the position of the UK relative to the other pre-2004 EU countries: from a low spender to a middling spender. This is purely a definitional change. The UK is spending no more on health than it was under the old definition and this does not stop hospitals from being in deficit, or reduce high vacancy rates across the NHS.
The UK still spends less than countries such as France and Sweden, but a similar amount to Spain and Portugal, and is not far behind countries such as Austria and Belgium. Measured by health spending per person, however, the UK is a little below average, so that money is being spread more thinly.
Compared to the old definition, what now constitutes spending on ‘health’ (at least for the purposes of international comparisons) includes much more of what in the UK has traditionally been thought of as ‘social care’, as well as spending on the NHS and preventative care. Notably, it excludes ‘capital spending’. This has meant a large accounting switch from social care spending to health care spending in the new OECD figures.
You might also like...
Our infographic showing what we think is needed from the next government to ensure a healthier population, supported by high ...
This Ipsos MORI survey, conducted on behalf of the Health Foundation for the 2019 General Election, found people are willing ...
A survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Health Foundation indicates that there is increasing public support for pay...
Health Foundation @HealthFdn
Workforce is the make or break issue for the NHS. Our analysis finds that nursing shortages continue to deepen, w… https://t.co/HTb0h1IHZFFollow us on Twitter
Work with us
We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.View current vacancies
The Q community
Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.Find out more