UK health spend "about average" according to new data

UK health spend "about average" according to new data PharmacoEconomics & Outcomes News 784, p6 - 12 Aug 2017 UK health spend "about average" according to new data Revised data indicates that the amount the UK spends on health in comparison with other countries has been underestimated, according to a BMJ Analysis article. Based on the latest internationally agreed accounting revisions designed to provide more comparable spending figures between countries, data from the UK Office for National Statistics and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed that the total health spend in 2014 in the UK was 9.8% of gross domestic product (GDP), rather than the 8.7% previously reported. The main reasons for the increase with the new accounting methods were capital spend exclusions, and the addition of long-term care, health-related social care and payments to carers. Preventative care was still included in the figures, but the article noted that "the new accounting methods further blur the line between health and healthcare". The updated figures result in the UK having "about average" overall health spending compared with the other 14 original countries of the European Union (EU-14), which ranged from 11.1% or more of the GDP for Sweden, France and Germany, to 9% or less of the GDP for Portugal, Greece and Luxembourg. The authors noted that "this is a major revision from the UK’s position with the old definition, under which its health spending as a percentage of GDP was below the EU-14 and OECD averages". This equated to an average absolute annual health spend per person of $US3675 in the UK, which is $294 below the EU-14 average, but considerably closer to this average than previously calculated. The revised 2014 figures "suggest the UK is spending about what might be expected; just 0.7% less per capita than expected given the size of its GDP". However, "just as previously being below average was not sufficient reason to increase spending, now being average is not sufficient reason to withhold spending", noted the authors. The health spending of other countries was only ever a rough point of reference to guide domestic decisions, with a health spend that equates to the average "not synonymous with the most desirable level of funding". The authors concluded that "the new accounting methods, while changing the UK’s standing internationally, do not change the reality of spending levels within the UK. A tough reality that – for many providers of health and social care - will not be eased by changes in definitions or accounting methods". Individual countries will need to consider a combination of technical and political factors to inform their own decisions about future public health and social care spending. Appleby J, et al. Keeping up with the Johanssons: How does UK health spending compare internationally? BMJ : 3 Aug 2017. Available from: URL: https:// 803263662 1173-5503/17/0784-0001/$14.95 Adis © 2017 Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved PharmacoEconomics & Outcomes News 12 Aug 2017 No. 784 PharmacoEconomics & Outcomes News Springer Journals

UK health spend "about average" according to new data

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Springer International Publishing
Copyright © 2017 by Springer International Publishing AG
Medicine & Public Health; Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes; Quality of Life Research; Health Economics; Public Health
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