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NHS to employ 1 in 8 Brits by 2060, account for 50 percent of government spending

Britain's National Health Service could end up devouring 50 percent of UK government spending by 2060, says a new report

by The Commentator on 1 February 2013 12:49

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A disturbing new revelation about the British government's healthcare spending has come to light following a report by one of the most respected healthcare think-tanks in Britain.

The King's Fund has showed that the UK is spending more than twice as much of its national income (nine per cent) on health and social care than it did 50 years ago. PMLive reports that taking into account economic growth and current levels of taxation and expenditure, this would mean 50 per cent of total public spending would be used within health and social care by 2060.

Reasons cited for the explosion in expenditure are Britain's ageing population, as well as rising population levels fuelled by immigration and NHS-tourism, especially from the European Union.

The King's Fund's chief economist John Appleby said, “While there is nothing inevitable about spending on health and social care continuing to increase in line with historic trends, the pressure to spend more is likely to see it consuming an ever-larger proportion of national income.

“It is time to think much more long term about how much we should spend, the benefits of this spending and how it should be paid for.”

Critics have argued that this level of expenditure on Britain's health service is simply unsustainable - a point that may somewhat be alleviated by privatisation of some services, coupled with the NHS utilising its brand abroad to offset costs in the UK.

It was recently reported that hospitals are to be encouraged by the government to sell their services abroad, setting up clinics with the 'famous' NHS brand in order to pull in much-needed cash for the health service from overseas, though this idea has some campaigners worried that the service is set to put profits before patients - an argument that in reality holds little weight, given the unsustainable burden on taxpayers.

The King's Fund's projections reflect that the NHS currently employs one in 18 of the UK population, a figure that could rise to one in eight by 2060.

Read more on: king's fund, nhs spending, the NHS, government spending, uk government spending, and National Health Service
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