Monday, December 17, 2007


Following on from this post, Matt Sinclair has a good piece at the TPA.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have taken a look at the amounts spent on cancer care in the UK and have found that the Department of Health's picture of low cancer survival rates but low costs isn't quite accurate. The Department of Health's analysis apparently fails to include spending by cancer care charities like Marie Curie Cancer Care. OECD data suggests that the UK spends £143, compared to the £80 that the Department of Health claims.

While the Swedish researchers acknowledge that UK cancer spending "is a very muddy picture" where precise and reliable figures are hard to come by this is another nail in the coffin of the "spend more and the health service will work itself out" approach. The numbers released by the Karolinska Institute suggest that the UK spends 36 per cent more on cancer care than Germany. Despite that additional spending in the UK a German man diagnosed with cancer has a 25 per cent higher chance of surviving five years and a German woman a 26 per cent higher chance of surviving that long compared to UK patients.

Thank you, NHS, Wonder of the WorldTM.

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