UK ‘spends a third less on health than other Western nations with NHS getting a third less cash per patient’

BRITAIN is spending a third less on health than other Western countries, a study shows.

The UK came bottom in a table of ten nations, forking out £2,978 a person against the £4,438 average.

 The UK is spending a third less on health than other Western countries, a study found
The UK is spending a third less on health than other Western countries, a study foundCredit: PA:Press Association

We had 2.8 doctors for 1,000 people in 2017, compared with an average of 3.5, experts said. There were 7.8 nurses for every 1,000 patients compared with an 11.4 average.

Overall, about 8.7 per cent of GDP went on health compared with an 11.5 per cent average.

Even with social care included, Britain committed less cash than its counterparts. Experts warned care standards were slipping as a result.

The UK has some of the worst survival rates for breast, colon, bowel and cervical cancers as well as the third highest number of preventable deaths.

Yet the record for combating hospital-acquired infections is good, fewer people suffer blood clots after surgery and waiting times are only slightly longer.

Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland and the US were the other nations studied by London School of Economics and Harvard University, US.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, researcher Dr Irene Papanicolas said the NHS must increase social spending and invest in labour and long-term care to match other nations.

Mark Dayan, of the Nuffield Trust, a charity dedicated to improving healthcare, said the report revealed the NHS was “relatively efficient” and had “perfectly normal” wait times.

He said: “This report is right to point to low levels of key staff as an underlying concern.”

Nursing job crisis

THE NHS is recruiting the most overseas nurses in a generation, research reveals.

It hired more than 6,000 nurses from outside the EU last year — more than double the previous 12 months.

It is also the highest number from nations such as the Philippines since 2005-6.

The Health Foundation report shows the NHS is short of 44,000 nurses.

Director Anita Charlesworth said: “Services are forced to rely on less-skilled support staff to pick up the slack.”

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