Intended for healthcare professionals


UK’s health spending per head fell in 2010 and 2011

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 22 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7021
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Health spending per person in the United Kingdom fell by 2.5% in 2010 and by 1.1% in 2011, show annual figures published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.1

The two years of decline in spending, adjusted for inflation and measured on a per capita basis, came after a decade in which health spending had risen by an average of 5.3% a year in the UK.

The figures reflect the recession, which has held NHS budgets more or less flat in real terms while the population has continued to rise. Nine other OECD countries showed falls in health spending, with the most abrupt being in Greece and Ireland. The average change in health spending among all 32 OECD countries was a modest 0.2% rise in the years 2009-2011, considerably less than …

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