Monday, 19 March 2018

US taxpayer funded health spending vs NHS

I stumbled across this somewhere or other recently, and it is quite chucklesome.

US taxpayer funded healthcare spending per capita $5,078 (about £3,600).

UK taxpayer funded spending (i.e. NHS), about £2,000 per capita.

Talk about shit value for money!


L fairfax said...

Very interesting.
I wonder how the other systems, German, Danish etc compare.
Sadly all debates on healthsystems in the UK seem to think there are just 2 systems in the world.

ontheotherhand said...

Most things in the US are more expensive than they need to be because of litigation and the cost of insuring against it and the expensive changes in behaviour to avoid it. The juries decide the award amount for the poor victim in front of them, and the largest portion can be 'punitive damages' which is the amount above and beyond the recompense required for the loss or damage to the victim, to teach the perpetrator a lesson.
The result for doctors is a lot of tick boxing and ar5e covering. e.g. a punter comes in with the flu, and they order 10 $100 blood tests just in case it is a rare case of meningitis or something. If every person with the flu gets 10 needless blood tests, that is a pretty expensive system.
A charitable chap I know in CT gives up some of his time for free to work in the public hospital. He is a brain surgeon. Volunteering there actually costs him a fortune in extra insurance (he is very public spirited), because they do not wear helmets on motorbikes in the US and a lot of what he is doing is patching up after accidents. If it can be construed that he made a mistake in trying to save a victim, the lawsuit can be $millions when the jury see a poor sick plaintiff in front of them.

mombers said...

A figure I've seen is 30% of spending is on the paperwork associated with insurance. Semi-mythical NHS management wastage can't come close to this...

Mark Wadsworth said...

LF, European systems are a tad more expensive, let's say 50% more expensive. Are they 50% better? That's difficult to measure. Depends on your point of view. For a healthy adult who's paying, no better, for expectant mothers, old people and chronically sick, loads better.

OTOH, ta for anecdotal.

M, that 30% insurance churn wouldn't surprise me, add on another 30% for all the unnecessary treatments and double it for rent seeking (from OTOH's comment), that's your American system right there. That's where UK and European systems score well - it's funded out of low cost, compulsory mass insurance, this cuts insurance churn to practically zero. No need to disclose prior ailments and all that crap.