HC Statistics International Health Care Systems

How has the NHS change over 70 years?

You may think you know single payer systems, but do you really?  Last week, the NHS celebrated 70 years of existence.  The Guardian has an interactive article that you can use to guess how health care in England has changed over the past 70 years.  I encourage you to read the article and test your own knowledge , but some key statistics from the article are below the fold:

  • Hospital beds: In 1951, there were over half a million hospital beds. Over the past 70 years, this number has fallen dramatically to only 169,000, a 70% decrease.
  • Spending: NHS spending was £260 per person in 1949. Now the figure is £2,273 per person, an almost 9 fold increase.
  • Gender ratio: In the mid-1960s, about 1 in 10 general practitioners (GPs) in England were female.
    Now, the number of female GPs outnubmer men, with 21,055 out of 37,942 GPs being women.
  • Nurses/physician ratio: Nurses outnumbe physician by an almost 3 to 1 ratio. There are 285,000 nurses as of 2018, but only 109,960 physicians.
  • Money needed to modernize. The NHS annual budget is about £150b, but the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says that the NHS needs to almost double its spending (an increase of £124b) by 2034 to fully modernize the NHS.

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