In 2000 the UK spent 6.3% of its GDP on health once public and private spending is added together (this is done to take into account the social insurance schemes that exist in some countries). Under Labour this rose and by 2009 it had hit 8.8%, which was above the EU average in 2000.
But the boom years had also prompted other nations to increase their spending so that by 2009 the EU average (for the 14 other members compared in 2000) was now 10.1%.
Of course since then the global economy has had to cope with turbulent times and so spending on health has stopped rising. In the rest of the EU it has remained pretty constant, while in Britain it has fallen
This is something the highly respected King’s Fund chief economist John Appleby has done.
His number crunching suggests that while the budget is going up as a proportion of GDP, spending will actually fall further because the economy will grow at a faster rate than the NHS budget.
If both were to match each other it would mean another £16bn being available by 2020, while if it was to be brought up to the EU average another £43bn would need to be ploughed in.
Is enough being spent on the NHS?