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Health Care

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list separately what information he has as to the proportion of gross domestic product spent by the state and by private medicine on health care in each of the countries within the European Economic Community.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has to the percentage of gross national product in other countries spent on health care (a) from private sources, (b) from state resources and (d) as a total from all sources.

The latest information available (1984) is as follows:

Proportion of GDP spent on:
Public healthPrivate healthTotal health
Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.
EEC countries:
Belgium5·70·56·2
Denmark5·31·06·3
France6·52·69·1
Germany6·41·78·1
Greece3·61·04·6
Ireland6·91·18·0
Italy6·11·17·2
Luxembourg16·4
Netherlands6·81·88·6
Portugal3·91·65·5
Spain4·21·65·8
United Kingdom5·30·65·9
Others:
Australia6·61·27·8
Austria4·42·87·2
Canada6·22·28·4
Finland5·41·26·6
Iceland6·51·47·9
Japan4·81·86·6
New Zealand4·41·25·6
Norway5·60·76·3
Sweden8·60·89·4
Switzerland17·8
United States4·46·310·7
Source: Table 1 "Financing and Delivering Health Care" — OECD 1987.
1 1982.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his latest estimate of the percentage of the United Kingdom's gross national product spent on health care; and what is the United Kingdom's ranking within the European Community in relation to such spending.

The percentage of the United Kingdom's gross domestic product spent on health care in 1986 is estimated at 6·2. The latest comparative figures for the European Community are for 1984 when the United Kingdom's percentage of GDP spent on health care was slightly lower, giving a ranking of ninth in the European Community.In terms of per capita health expenditure in 1980 (using either market exchange rates or health purchasing power parities for comparison) the United Kingdom ranked seventh in the European Community.But such comparisons take no account of the effectiveness or efficiency with which these resources are used. It is generally acknowledged that the United Kingdom gets better value for money than some other countries.