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Foreign Health Services

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has as to state-run health services in other countries with regard to (a) the number of administrative staff employed per 10,000 of the population, (b) the number of other non-medical staff employed per 10,000 of the population, (c) the number of nurses employed per 10,000 of the populaton, (d) the number of beds per 10,000 of the population, (e) the average length of stay of in-patients and (f) the number of doctors employed per 10,000 of the population.

Information in the precise form requested is not available. In particular no distinction is made in available statistics between state-run and other health services. However, I would draw my hon. Friend's attention to the following tables in two publications by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, "Measuring Health Care 1960–1983" and "Financing and Delivering Health Care" (Paris 1985 and 1987 respectively), which are available in the Library. The relevant tables are, in "Measuring Health Care", Table D.8 numbers of nurses and Table H.1 population; In "Financing and Delivering Health Care", table 18 on public sector and total health expenditure, table T.27 on bed numbers, table T.31 on average lengths of stay and table T.34 on numbers of doctors. In connection with these tables I would particularly draw my hon. Friend's attention to chapter 2 of the second publication which stresses the difficulties inherent in making inter-country comparisons because of differences of definition and so on from country to country.In relation to administrative and non-medical staff numbers I would draw my hon. Friend's attention to tables 508(a) to (d) in volume 1 of "Eurocare: European Health Care Analysis" (Health Econ, Basle) which I am arranging to place in the Library.