Health spending in the UK lags behind European countries such as Germany, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Austria, according to a report on funding needs commissioned by the NHS Confederation.
Figures from 2016 show that at 9.5 per cent, as a share of national income, health spending – both public and private – falls substantially below spending in Germany, at 11.3 per cent and France at 11 per cent.
If the UK were to spend the same proportion of national income on health as Germany in the next year, this would add an extra £30 billion to the health budget, the report noted.
The UK also employs fewer doctors per head than all other EU countries. In 2015, the UK had 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people, compared with 4.1 doctors per 1,000 in Germany and 3.3 doctors per 1,000 in France.