Healthcare economy: report finds UK lags behind other countries

According to a recent study, the UK currently has the fewest MRI scanners per capita compared to other countries, with less than a third of the amount of CT and MRI scanners of Germany.

Computed tomography (CT) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are both used to capture images within a patient’s body and help diagnose cancer and detect other diseases. So, it’s safe to say that this equipment is vital for diagnosing and monitoring people’s conditions.

Joshua Kraindler’s and Ben Gershlick’s research points out that the UK spends significantly less on health care capital than most other comparable countries. The capital stock is a measure of the value of capital. In health care, capital includes the buildings, machinery, IT and equipment used to provide the public with health care services.

In 2017, the UK spent 0.31% of GDP on health care capital, compared to 0.51% in similar countries and has been steadily below average since 2000.

Within overall capital spending, the UK also spends less on machinery and equipment with just 36% of its total capital spending going towards machinery, compared to that of 48% in other countries.

The value of health care capital in the UK and other European countries:


Photo credit.

These comparisons don’t automatically signify that the UK needs to increase its capital to the same level such as countries like Austria and Denmark, but it gives us a better understanding of international differences. The comparisons can be a helpful future guide to help increase health care capital.

The author states, ‘’The capital budget must be considered alongside the revenue budget to ensure that staff have the right mix of resources they need to deliver the best quality care to patients.’’


To read the full research please click here: ‘’International comparisons of capital in health care: why is the UK falling behind?’’

Let us know what you think on our Facebook page!