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UK’s healthcare spend second-lowest among G7 nations

The US spends significantly more than any other comparable nation

The UK has the second-lowest healthcare spending of the G7 nations, research shows.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals the UK spent £2,989 per person in 2017, far below the US, which had the biggest healthcare spend of £7,736 per person.

The ranking of 36 countries put the UK at 18th, however it was notable for having among the least privately-funded medical care and no mandatory health insurance.

Healthcare spending in the UK is £700 less per year than the biggest members of the EU.

Among the G7 nations – which include the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – it only spends more than Italy (£2,559).

However, the study reveals lower healthcare spending does not necessarily mean people are at greater risk of sickness or early death.

Spain, for instance, has the third highest life expectancy at 83.4 years, but only the 23rd highest spending (£2,444).

The US had a life expectancy of 78.6 years – just four months longer than Estonia despite spending five times as much as the northern European nation’s £1,607 per person per year, according to the figures analysed by the Daily Mail.

The life expectancy at birth in the UK is 81.3 years.  

Other countries making up the five biggest spenders were Switzerland (£5,417 per person per year), Norway (£4,596), Germany (£4,432) and Austria (£3,994).

The ONS said research suggests that the high spending in the US is partly attributable to higher prices and partly because of the consumption of a greater volume of goods and services.