Andrew Harding and Colin Pritchard have recently had a paper published in the International Journal of Health Policy and Management.
The paper, titled ‘UK and Twenty Comparable Countries GDP-Expenditure on-Health 1980 2013: The Historic and Continued Low Priority of UK Health Related Expenditure, uses GDPEH data to outline the low proportional commitment that the UK makes to healthcare expenditure. It is well established in the health and social policy world that the UK prioritises less of its wealth to health than almost any comparable country. However, the authors use an innovative and novel means of exploring proportional differences in commitment.
The key finding is that since 1980, in order to meet the mean average European health spend, the UK would have needed to have made an additional commitment of one-fifth. For the final period, between 2010-2013 the authors show that the UK has prioritised 12% less in proportional terms (as a % of GDP) than the European average.
The paper ends with the following quote, “Echoing others who have recently contributed to discussion in this area, if other comparable countries can make a larger proportional commitment and deem it affordable, in light of aforementioned challenges, why cannot the United Kingdom prioritise accordingly?”