‘As we celebrate the NHS here, we must not underestimate its symbolism beyond our borders. As the People’s Health Movement, the global network of health activists, made clear in evidence to my recent consultation, the health service does not just impact on the lives of people in the UK. It is a beacon of hope to millions of people around the world who are fighting for their own access to healthcare. Its very existence demonstrates that universal, publicly funded healthcare is possible.
This was always its intention. As Nye Bevan said on the day the NHS was brought into existence: “The eyes of the world are turning to Great Britain. We now have the moral leadership of the world.” Continue reading
- The population of the UK is an estimated 65.1 million.
- 1 in 20 GP surgeries have closed or merged since 2013. 57 closing down in 2016 alone.
- The NHS England budget is £117 billion for 2016/7 and will rise after inflation to £120 billion by 2019/20.
- Every 36 hours the NHS will treat 1,000,000 patients.
- Accident and emergency departments recorded their worst ever waiting times in 2016/7.
- Hospitals recorded their worst ever waiting times for elective surgery in 2015.
- The NHS in England has 149,808 doctors, 314,966 nurses, and employs 1.3 million people.
- 19% of NHS staff and 29.5% of NHS doctors are non-British.
- The average age of recent migrants to the UK is 26.
- Healthcare costs change with age: a 20-year old costs an estimated £500 per year, a 65-year old £3750 per year and an 85-year old £7500 per year.
- The population of the UK over 65 in 1975 was 1 in 8. Today it is 1 in 6. By 2050 it will be 1 in 4. There are 1.5 million people over 85 in the U.K today.
- The NHS buys many drugs from Europe and the USA paying in Euros (€) and US dollars ($).
- Health tourism, foreign citizens using the NHS, costs the NHS an estimated £1-300 million per year. A new overseas surcharge recouped £289m in 2015. This is 0.3% of the total NHS budget.
- Stationery costs the NHS £146m/year.
- Compared internationally the NHS achieves above average outcomes, with average funding and below average staff numbers. OECD.
- Health costs rise each year in developed countries, above real world inflation. This is broken down into staff wage inflation, new technologies, population growth, new drugs and medical advances.
- The NHS was estimated to require £30 billion by 2020 to meet predicted demand. To date, it has received £4.5 billion.
- Social care is estimated to require £4 billion by 2020 to maintain current service.
- The ratio of people working to those retired is called the Old Age Dependency Ratio (OADR). This was steady at around 300 retirees for every 1000 people working from the 1980s to 2006, but has now since started to rise. With retirement age changes, it will still increase by 20% by 2037 to 365.
Using cross-national fixed effects models covering 25 EU countries from 1995 to 2010, we quantified fiscal multipliers both before and during the recession that began in 2008.
We found that the multiplier for total government spending was 1.61 (95% CI: 1.37 to 1.86), but there was marked heterogeneity across types of spending. The fiscal multipliers ranged from −9.8 for defence (95% CI: -16.7 to −3.0) to 4.3 for health (95% CI: 2.5 to 6.1). These differences appear to be explained by varying degrees of absorption of government spending into the domestic economy. Defence was linked to significantly greater trade deficits (β = −7.58, p=0.017), whereas health and education had no effect on trade deficits (peducation=0.62; phealth= 0.33).
The King’s Fund suggest that a 3.5% annual real-terms rise in NHS expenditure, combined with the provision of ‘moderate’ and ‘higher’ social care needs free at the point of use, would bring total health and social care expenditure up to between 11 and 12 per cent of UK GDP by 2025. This compares with the 16.9% of GDP spent by the US and the 11% spent by France on healthcare alone in 2015.
If UK economic growth continues at an annual average of 2%, by 2025 GDP at 2013 prices will be around £2.2 trillion compared to £1.8 trillion in 2015, an increase of £400 billion. In 2013 terms an increase in spending on health and social care to 12% of GDP would represent around an additional £60-70 billion annual spend in 2025. Yet even with this increase in health and care expenditure, the nation as a whole would still have over an extra £300 billion to spend on all other goods and services, public and private. The King’s Fund’s recommendation is thus eminently affordable.
The government had to lend cash-strapped hospitals a record £2.825bn in the last financial year so they could pay staff wages, energy bills and for drugs needed to treat patients.
The Department of Health was forced to provide emergency bailouts on an unprecedented scale to two-thirds of hospital trusts in the 2015-16 financial year because they were set to run out of money, the Guardian can reveal.
The NHS has more than 100 PFI hospitals. The original cost of these 100 institutions was around £11.5bn. In the end, they will cost the public purse nearly £80bn. The total UK PFI debt is over £300bn for projects worth only £55bn. This means that nearly £250bn will be spent swelling the coffers of PFI groups.
The outcome of the EU referendum has been unfairly blamed on the working class in the north of England, and even on obesity.7 However, because of differential turnout and the size of the denominator population, most people who voted Leave lived in the south of England.8 Furthermore, of all those who voted for Leave, 59% were in the middle classes (A, B, or C1). The proportion of Leave voters in the lowest two social classes (D and E) was just 24%.8 The Leave voters among the middle class were crucial to the final result because the middle class constituted two thirds of all those who voted. Continue reading