8 facts about the healthcare industry
that might surprise you
In Britain, we’re very lucky to have the NHS available offering quality healthcare that doesn’t impact us financially. And, as clearly evidenced in the recent elections with public rhetoric and promises made by party leaders to substantially increase public spending on the NHS, as a nation we are very passionate about the NHS.
But as well as offering medical services that save lives what else do you know about the NHS and the healthcare industry in general?
Here, we’ve pulled together eight facts about the UK healthcare industry that might surprise you. Impress your friends with your knowledge and, perhaps, increase your awareness of how the healthcare industry functions in the UK.
How might these interesting statistics affect you and the way you use those services now and in the future?
1. 1 million patients are seen every 36 hours
The NHS deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours – an incredible feat. This covers everything from a GP appointment to admission to A&E proving that those working for the National Health Service are true superheroes. In most cases, 83.7% of patients in A&E are seen within four hours.
2. The UK has the best healthcare system in the world
The UK’s NHS was voted the best healthcare system in the world, according to the 2017 Commonwealth Fund. The report compared the UK to 11 other countries – the US, Canada Sweden, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, Australia and Norway.
3. The UK spends less on healthcare compared to other G7 countries
Compared to the USA, Germany, France, Canada and Japan the UK spends less on healthcare – with only Italy spending a smaller percentage. For example, the UK typically spends around £2,777 per person and the USA £6,311. Surprisingly, even though the USA spends the most money on healthcare it has one of the lowest life expectancy rates out of the countries that form the G7.
4. 8-minutes is the target emergency ambulance response time
This is the target response time for high emergency 999 calls in the UK is currently averaging at around 7 minutes and 31 seconds. Rural areas typically take longer to reach: Ryedale in North Yorkshire, for example, has an average response time of 14 minutes.
5. GPs have to arrange their own insurance
You might assume that insurance comes with the job, but GPs running a surgery must organise insurance in order to offer care and medical advice to patients. Indemnity insurance, for example, ensures that should something go wrong the GP is protected and can afford to cover any legal costs.
More and more specialist indemnity insurance providers are now offering this service. Whereas GPs were once restricted to only one or two providers, they can shop around for the best price and insurance package.
6. There are only 58 GPs per 100,000 people in England
Surprisingly, for every 100,000 people, there are only 58 GPs and this number has fallen in the past year. For many people, this is reflected in a struggle to get a GP appointment but the NHS is attempting to tackle the issue by increasing training places and recruiting more staff to support GPs. Scotland has the highest number of GPs – 76 per 100,000 people! Wales (62 GPs) and Northern Ireland (67 GPs) are also faring better than England in terms of GP numbers.
7. A GP appointment costs the NHS £30
Each time you visit the GP, this costs the NHS around £30 and according to NHS England, 15 million appointments are being wasted on people who don’t turn up or let the surgery know they are unable to attend.
8. 153,000 NHS staff are non-British
The NHS is not only the fifth largest employer in the world, but it’s also made up of a diverse workforce from around the globe. Of every 1,000 NHS staff in England:
869 are British
55 are from EU countries
44 are Asian
21 are African
11 are from somewhere else.
Enjoy the NHS with these facts under your belt, offering a wider understanding of what the service and the healthcare industry as a whole in the UK are experiencing.
Clearly, although the UK still has the best healthcare system in the world, it is under increasing pressure and needs substantial investment to maintain and improve services. but alongside this investment, there needs to be a change of approach including further initiatives and training that reduce over-prescribing; and a more holistic approach that embraces self-care and social prescribing which, in turn, encourages the public to take responsibility for their own wellbeing, so that the NHS moves away from being a National Illness Service.