Monday, June 13, 2016

A chart that should terrify healthcare policy makers

This very simple chart (taken from the IFS report on spending within the NHS) should give healthcare policy makers sleepless nights.

The graph shows the spending on NHS hospital care by the age and gender of the person.

As you would expect, the spending on women rises above men for the period when they are having children and then falls below.

The thing that is clear, not surprisingly, is the rapid increase in spending for older people, especially above 75+ It doesn't take an economist to see what the implications are when you combine this chart with the rise in the numbers of older people - especially the old-old.

if you really want to depress yourself think of what the costs look like when you add in the rise in obesity levels and how it will impact this spending profile.

As you would image, the spending in not uniformly spread with just 1% of the 65+ accounting for more than 20% of the spending within that age group.

Personally, I think the implications are even worse than you might think. This graph is just for spending in hospitals, it doesn't include the cost of medication, care and general practice doctors. if anything, I would think these costs are even more skewed towards older people.

Solution? No idea. of course you could spend a lot more money, but that is unlikely to happen.

Most likely solution is that the level of service will deteriorate and those that can buy healthcare will. Dick Stroud

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