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Patients (Spending)

Volume 130: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the average annual expenditure per patient in Scotland in 1986–87.

[holding answer 23 February 1988]: It is not possible to provide a meaningful overall average cost per patient. However, information on the cost of in-patient and out/day-patient treatment based on the statistical information produced annually and contained in the publication "Scottish Health Service Costs" is given in the table:

Average annual cost (1986–87)


In-patient case1,177·90
Out-patient attendance12·65
Accident and emergency attendance17·54
Day patient1 attendance29·06
Day case2 attenance64·36

1 Defined as a patient who attends a day hospital or day facility from outwith the hospital on a regular basis.

2 A patient using a hospital facility during the course of a day for investigation, operative procedure or other treatment, who requires some form of preparation, period of recovery or observation and who does not remain in the facility overnight.

Comparison with other countries of the United Kingdom on the basis of these figures is difficult, as average annual expenditure per patient is influenced by the mix of cases treated, the age and sex of patients and a variety of other factors. Scotland, for example, has a higher proportion of the United Kingdom's teaching hospital places and proportionately more patient care takes place within the relatively more expensive teaching hospital environment. Average expenditure per patient also depends on the methods used to allocate hospital running costs between certain categories; for example, inpatients and day cases.