Publicly funded health care spending as a share of GDP in Western European countries:

Graph of health expenditure by countries

George Osborne’s plans:

Annual change in total NHS spend in England

Estimated public spending on health in the UK as a percentage of GDP,2015/16 to 2020/21:

Estimated public spending on health in the UK as a percentage of GDP

With thanks to Anita Charlesworth of the Health Foundation for her slides.


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  1. Nicholas says:

    “Can we afford austerity politics?” would have been the better-intentioned, honest title.

  2. e says:

    Yes we can but we are not providing enough funds for it to deliver all we need.
    What is the alternative? – as the Commonwealth Fund has shown many times, the UK is the most efficient service.
    This means any alternative will cost more, deliver less, or both at the same time.
    We must restate the simple truth that the NHS needs more funds.

  3. bhfisher says:

    I think Finland’s health service works well. How do they do it? I think it is run mainly through local authorities. Is that even more efficient?

    1. National Health should be run nationally, not by local authorities or postcode as there should not be discrepancies or biases or discrimination in how it is delivered, this is the only way that persons with learning disabilities/autism can rely on better outcome for them and their families.

      1. Martin Rathfelder says:

        There always have been huge variations in what the NHS delivers from one place to another, especially in low status services like mental health and learning difficulties. More local ownership might improve the situation.

  4. rotzeichen says:

    Why don’t we pose the same question about TRIDENT?

    It costs about the same and delivers nothing but further running costs.

    We can afford our NHS, it just the Neo-Liberal politicians of all colours choose not to.

    Our NHS is being systematically dismantled in favour of corporate power and private profit.

    Politicians are selling the ground from beneath our feet.

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