Book News: March 3rd, 2005

By Chris Philp and Aaron SmithThis Policy Brief from The Bow Group shows that UK Healthcare continues to be much worse than in Europe. 323 lives are lost per day because the best European standards are not being matched in the three main killers – heart disease, respiratory disease and cancer. Looking at trends over time, there has been no significant improvement over the last 7 years. The UK is bottom of the league table of Western European countries for cancer survival rates.

Significantly more money has recently been put into the NHS in the last seven years. But standards are still much lower than in Europe and activity (e.g. number of operations) has not increased. The 25% real increase in health spending in the first 5 years under Labour has only resulted in a 16% increase in resources and staff. The remaining 10% has gone on excess health service inflation. However, even the 16% increase in resources has not resulted in improved activity – attendances are only up 5% and overall waiting times have actually increased by 6%. Productivity, the activity that each person achieves, has gone down.

The Brief is available at: http://www.bowgroup.org/pub/HealthStandards.pdf