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Surgeon David Allamby FRCS(Ed), FRCOphth
 David Allamby

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How much does each country spend on healthcare?

Learn more about vision correction

14
Dec
2017

Across the world, healthcare systems are relied upon by millions of people.  Whilst we may not realise just how pivotal these systems are in our lives when we are feeling healthy, they are in fact critical in not only protecting us from illness but also treating us if we become unwell.

With the global movement towards universal health care proving powerful, particularly for middle-income countries, access to health services has improved, along with the global average life expectancy, which has risen by five years between 2000 and 2015,  That’s the fastest increase since the 1960s!

But there is still work that can be done.

As the coldest months draw closer, we all are prone to a common cold at the very least, with chances of illness and mortality rates increasing over the winter season.  In the 2016 and 2017 winter period, there were an estimated 34,300 excess winter deaths in England and Wales.  So with this in mind, it is worth knowing which governments in the world are allocating the most amount of money to their healthcare services.

Using data from The World Bank, here at Focus Clinic we have found out exactly which countries have the largest percentage of government spending reserved for healthcare.

medical teamTaking the top spot is Andorra, whose government spends an impressive 27.9% on healthcare.  This country holds some of the most technologically advanced hospitals in Europe, as well as one of the highest ratios in Europe for pharmacies per capita.
Other countries to feature in the top ten may come as a surprise, with lesser developed countries such as the Maldives, coming in at second spending 26.6%, and Nicaragua at third spending 24%.  Whilst the USA are eighth in the rankings, it is worth noting that this is based on predominantly private expenditure.
So where does the UK rank?

The UK is positioned at a shocking 32nd place.  Spending 16.5% on healthcare, does this explain why the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is constantly featuring in the news with discussion on cuts, long employee hours and delays in patient diagnosis and treatment?  When we compare how much the UK spend to those 31 other countries that place before it, including lesser developed countries like, Iran, Guatemala and Swaziland, questions are raised about whether we are doing enough?

Looking further down the rankings and there features countries predominantly from Africa and Asia.  Timor-Leste, Laos, Myanmar, Yemen and Azerbaijan all feature as countries that spend the lowest percentage on healthcare, with the lowest figure at an alarming 2.4%.  As global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur predominantly in the African continent, how will these countries ensure their government spending can keep up with the dramatic population increase?

Sources

World Health Organisation

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Office for National Statistics

Read more for posts on eye health, laser eye surgery, and vision, here

By: David
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