Expenditure on healthcare in the UK, 2013

Document type
Lewis, James; Cooper, James
Office for National Statistics
Date of publication
26 March 2015
Health Services, Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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This report provides figures for total UK healthcare expenditure in 2013, as well as updated figures for 1997 to 2012. The time series, which starts at 1997 and runs to 2013, is used to analyse the main features of total healthcare expenditure, examining trends in healthcare expenditure per person and as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). Additional analysis looks at the split between current and capital spending and the division of spending between public and private sectors, as well as presenting an analysis of the composition of household healthcare expenditure.

The main points are:

  • Total healthcare expenditure in the UK, from both public and private sectors, was £150.6 billion in 2013, having increased by 2.7% between 2012 and 2013.
  • Total spending per person on healthcare was £2,350 in 2013, more than two and a half times the level in 1997, when £941 was spent for each UK resident.
  • Total healthcare expenditure in the UK accounted for 8.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013. Total healthcare expenditure as a percentage of GDP rose sharply between 2008 and 2009, as GDP fell, but has decreased since 2009.
  • Public sector spending on healthcare totalled £125.5 billion in 2013 and accounted for 83.3% of total healthcare expenditure in the UK, with the remaining £25.1 billion being private sector spending.
  • Public sector healthcare expenditure grew by 3.2% between 2012 and 2013, while private sector expenditure grew by 0.3%.
  • Over two-thirds of private healthcare expenditure was household consumption in 2013, with the largest categories of household healthcare consumption being pharmaceutical products, therapeutic appliances and equipment, and hospital services.
  • In 2013, current healthcare expenditure was £144.9 billion, which equated to 96.2% of total healthcare expenditure. The remaining £5.8 billion was capital expenditure.

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